Key developments at Cop28: Global commitments, wins and Kenya’s green tech milestones

  • 8 Dec 2023
  • 3 Mins Read
  • 〜 by John Roy

COP, is the acronym of the Conference Of the Parties, which is the highest decision-making body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). The UNFCC is an international treaty that acknowledges the existence of anthropogenic climate change and provides the framework for climate change negotiations. The COP has been meeting each year since 1995 to review the implementation of the UNFCC. That explains why each COP elaborates and builds on the decisions and resolutions of previous COPs.

This year’s COP was scheduled to take place from 30th November to 12 December 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Therefore, we’re at the tail-end of the Convention. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber was appointed to serve as the COP 28 President (more of him later). The groundwork was laid to deliver a successful COP 28 that drives global transformation towards a low-emission and climate-resilient world, fostering ambitious climate action and facilitating implementation. With that in mind, COP 28 is focusing on the following paradigm shifts:

  •  Putting nature, people, lives, and livelihoods at the heart of climate action
  •  Mobilising for the most inclusive COP ever
  •  Fast-tracking the energy transition and slashing emissions by 2030
  • Transforming Climate finance, by delivering on old promises and setting the framework for a new deal on finance

Yes, we’re approaching the final week of COP 28. What is happening and what’s not happening?


  1. There have been five key wins at COP28! Here’s what happened so far:

    1. Five countries and the EU have pledged over $420 million to the loss and damage fund. This fund aims to assist developing nations in dealing with the increasingly severe impacts of climate change. The countries that have made pledges include the UAE, Germany, US, Japan, and the UK.

    2. 50 of the world’s top fossil fuel companies have pledged to eliminate emissions from their operations by 2050.

    3. These companies, accounting for around one-third of global oil and gas production, have also committed to ceasing the routine flaring of excess gas and substantially reducing methane leaks, a powerful greenhouse gas, by 2030.

    4. At least 117 governments have agreed to triple the world’s renewable energy capacity and double the rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030. These two actions alone are estimated to deliver 85% of the fossil fuel reductions needed by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

    5. Twenty-two countries have pledged to triple nuclear capacity by 2050.


  1. Bringing this back home, Kenya has marked significant steps towards sustainable development with the securing of green technology agreements amounting to Ksh 680 billion. The funding will be directed towards various green technology projects, including:
  2.     Green Fertilizer (Ksh 230 billion): Fortescue and Kenya to collaborate for a green ammonia project, hence boosting energy security and significantly reducing reliance on imports.
  3.     Data Centre at Olkaria (Ksh 91 billion): KenGen, Konza and US investors plan a 200 MW data centre using geothermal energy.
  4.     Suswa Geothermal (Ksh 153 billion): Kenya partners with Indonesia and Masdar for a 300 MW geothermal project.
  5.     Menengai Geothermal (Ksh 16.9 billion): Globeloeq develops a 35MW geothermal project in Menengai, ensuring secure investments.
  6.     Paka Geothermal (Ksh 122 billion): GDC and AMEA Power to collaborate on the Paka Geothermal project.
  7.     Clean Energy Supply Chain (CESC) (Ksh. 30 billion): US, Brazil, India and Kenya to launch CESC project for clean energy supply chain expansion with Ksh 87 billion loan for developing countries.
  8.     Sustainable Agriculture (Ksh 41.4 billion): United Green and Kenya Development Corporation partner for 15,000 hectares of sustainable agriculture project.  


While it is important to celebrate these crucial commitments, it is essential to recognize that promising is one thing and delivering on these promises is another.

Environmental activists have voiced concerns about the allocation of such funds. They argue that the investments are not being directed correctly and insist that a larger portion of the funding should be committed to adaptation efforts.

Adaptation measures are key for communities to adjust to the unfavourable effects of climate change, which include extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and shifts in agricultural productivity.

  1. The drawbacks of this year’s COP edition are apparent in the presence of avoidable complexities.

Sultan Al Jaber, as the president of COP 28, asserted a perspective on the necessity of a transition away from fossil fuels to curb global heating to 1.5 degrees Celsius. His stance, underlining the absence of scientific consensus on the imperative of phasing out fossil fuels, stirred discussions. Al Jaber emphasized concerns about potential challenges to sustainable development if such a transition were implemented, suggesting it could regress the world to a less advanced state.

It’s worth noting that Al Jaber, in addition to his role as COP 28 President, serves as the Chair of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), potentially influencing his views on the matter. The contrasting perspectives on fossil fuel phase-out become particularly intriguing amid the backdrop of the collective call from over 100 countries advocating for such a transition. The urgent need for deep and rapid cuts in fossil fuel emissions, aligned with global efforts to mitigate the escalating impacts of climate change, adds a layer of complexity to this discourse. The unfolding of these discussions will undoubtedly be closely monitored, given the diverse perspectives and the imperative to address climate challenges.