The U.N. COP28 Climate Change Conference concluded with a pledge to transition away from fossil fuels, the first such major multilateral agreement to call for signatories to do so. As a result, the pledge was heralded as a historic achievement. But does this actually mean that climate diplomacy has turned a corner?
The impacts of climate change are advancing faster than experts had previously predicted, and they are increasingly irreversible. But persistent climate skepticism from key global figures, motivated in part by national economic interests, is slowing diplomatic efforts to systematically address the drivers of climate change.
The EU and China concluded their first in-person leaders’ summit since 2019 this week, with trade imbalances and China’s continued support for Russia front and center. While the latter has fundamentally shifted Europe’s view of China, the economic issues dominated discussions at the summit, particularly with regard to electric vehicles.
In addition to the human cost of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, the conflict also poses clear challenges to the regional energy ecosystem that has emerged in the Eastern Mediterranean over the past decade. Having already created immediate disruptions, the war could also have a long-term impact on its future development and expansion.
Former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk will likely return to office in mid-December, and from day one the pressure will be on and the task ahead will be immense. Among other pressing issues will be jumpstarting Poland’s energy transition after eight years in which Warsaw adopted an obstructionist approach to the climate crisis.
Yesterday, Venezuela held a controversial referendum to underscore its longstanding territorial claim to Guyana’s Essequibo region. But despite fears the referendum was an effort to provide popular legitimacy for the government to seize and annex Essequibo, there are plenty of reasons why a military operation to do so is highly unlikely.