My Final Report on COP28

My Final Report on COP28

Good Morning from Chicago,

It’s been just over three weeks since the end of COP28 and the dust is still settling. Probably the most immediate economic change is that following the collapse of negotiations over carbon trading rules, some international voluntary market carbon prices fell to as low as 45-cents per ton. The value of nature-based carbon credits, also known as protecting forests, are falling to the point where selling new credits is pointless, since the cost of creating and maintaining the credit would be higher than the funds taken in.

We’ve moved to a new paradigm where global climate negotiations are no longer just about ideology, they have concrete, measurable economic impacts.

This major change goes hand in glove with many of the findings of my final report on last month’s climate negotiations, COP28 and Climate Reporting Gone Off Track, now available to read. Among the findings:

  • Most climate reports are either focused on non-climate related international news or the science and tech of climate rather than the global political struggle of finding solutions.
  • Climate advocates – often used as issue guides for reporters – are providing misleading narratives about the true problems with climate politics. While oil companies do work to delay climate mitigation, its countries’ economic and political self-interests play a much bigger role in holding up solutions.
  • Western reporters are missing some of the most important stories about the politics of climate – how the give and take of countries’ domestic requirements and international diplomacy is critical to understanding how to create a climate resolution.
  • UNFCCC meetings are getting bigger and more consequential because we’ve moved from discussing the cause of climate change to the implementation phase of fixing the problem.
  • A survey of social media, which is the main source of news for over half of Americans, found it is largely void of in depth news about COP28 and climate.

Now that I’ve finished up the final report, I’m planning to get back to regular newsletter reports on the politics of climate for Heat Rising. In two weeks, starting January 23, I’ll return to my twice-a-week schedule of Tuesday and Thursday. I’m going to use the extra time to do a bit more planning, and to move to a new newsletter platform.

You might have read about Substack’s “Nazi Problem”, where the owners of the platform essentially said they would allow openly Nazi blogs to continue monetizing on Substack for “first amendment” reasons. I’m not going to delve into where and when the First Amendment actually applies, but it’s my right to not support an organization that provides a platform to Nazis. So, I’ll be moving Heat Rising to a new spot over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully it’ll be a seamless transition and you should not notice any big changes when you get my next newsletter.

Thank you for your support and for reading Heat Rising. Got some thoughts on the report? I’d love to hear them. Just reply to this email.