Menlo Park, CA — Today in Dubai, the United Nations Conference of Parties announced a plan to transition away from fossil fuels and toward a renewable energy future. Below is a statement from Jonathan Pershing, Environment Program Director and former U.S. Climate Envoy, on the historic agreements coming out of COP28.

“COP28 marks a significant and important milestone in the global effort to combat climate change. It was only made possible because two hundred countries with different priorities and perspectives came together to identify shared solutions to the climate crisis.

Countries reached the same conclusion as scientists and analysts around the world: despite significant progress to reduce global emissions, the world is not on track to meet the global temperature target adopted in Paris in 2015. To address that shortfall, they have committed to update their national plans and agreed to global efforts to aggressively reduce emissions, including through the tripling of renewable energy, a rapid transition away from fossil fuels, and a substantial reduction of super-pollutants like methane.

But a commitment is just the start. The proof of impact will be in implementation. Government, private industry, civil society, and philanthropy must all play crucial roles if we are to meet the goals set in Dubai and avoid the significant and widespread damages that will result from our current trajectory. In addition to global emissions reductions, we must also accelerate the pace of adapting to climate change. And we must dramatically increase funding for the financing mechanisms required to support the energy transition, including to support loss and damage from climate in developing economies.

As an organization working to ensure that all people have the opportunity to thrive, the Hewlett Foundation has supported a variety of creative thinkers and problem solvers working to combat climate change at the local, national, and global level. The progress made in Dubai is a testament to their work — and to national governments listening to and acting upon the best available science. Our foundation will take the signals provided in today’s historic agreement as a starting point for our own continued global effort so that people and the planet can flourish.”