Ultimately, whether COP28 is judged a success will largely be determined by how the world responds to the outcomes of the global stocktake. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), and Transforma will set out a theory of change for moving from incremental progress in the UNFCCC to transformational levels of ambition and implementation. To add real value, COP28 and the GST need to send clear and specific signals as to what Parties and non-Party stakeholders could usefully do after COP28 in order to collectively achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, both as part of an immediate response as well as through more ambitious nationally determined contributions in 2025.
One example of such a signal could be agreement on a proposed global goal of tripling renewable power generation by 2030 and how it can be achieved in the context of a just energy transition. The COP28 outcome must help drive a shift from incremental progress on energy transition toward transformational levels of ambition, implementation, and fairness. The second part of the mandate of the GST on enhancing international cooperation further presents an important hook that could be used to move from zero-sum confrontational and incremental increases in ambition and implementation towards needed transformation.
The normative potential of the UNFCCC process should be leveraged to ensure that all stakeholders—national governments, local authorities, civil society, the private sector, national level practitioners, multilateral organizations, and UN agencies, among others—align their efforts to deliver an effective response to COP28 and the GST.