| Press Release

COP28 fails to deliver fossil fuel phaseout plan, so California must

Baani Behniwal and Barry Vesser Dubai COP28
Baani Behniwal (left) and Barry Vesser (right) led The Climate Center's COP28 delegation in Dubai. Photo by The Climate Center.

SAN FRANCISCO — COP28, the annual United Nations climate conference, has come to a close. While UN officials call the agreement reached the “beginning of the end” of fossil fuels, it still falls well short of what science says is necessary to limit global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, as defined by the Paris Agreement. 

In response, Barry Vesser, Chief Operating Officer and leader of The Climate Center’s COP28 delegation, said:

“Thousands of people arrived in Dubai last week with hopes of securing a meaningful commitment to end the fossil fuel era. Thanks to the thousands of oil and gas representatives that swarmed COP28 — including COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber himself — that didn’t happen. Instead, yet another year will pass in which the largest annual gathering of climate experts in the world yielded action that pales in comparison to the climate crisis we’re in. 

“On the heels of another disappointing COP, the world desperately needs climate leaders like California to step up. We must set an example by kicking polluters out of politics, rapidly phasing out fossil fuels, and transitioning to a clean energy economy for all. If we can do it in California — the fifth-largest economy in the world and still a major oil and gas producer — we can do it anywhere. I hope that the California delegation to COP has come back with a sense of urgency and renewed climate ambition.”

The Climate Center became an official Observer organization to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2020. As an Observer, we’re able to help a limited number of California policymakers and nonprofit leaders gain entrance to the annual gathering that now draws tens of thousands of attendees from all over the world. 

This year, we hosted side events focused on natural carbon sequestrationphasing out fossil fuelsgreen hydrogennature-based climate solutions, and California’s legislative priorities regarding climate. See all of The Climate Center’s activities at COP28 here



Ryan Schleeter, Communications Director, The Climate Center: ryan@theclimatecenter.org, (415) 342-2386

About The Climate Center: 

The Climate Center is a climate and energy policy nonprofit working to rapidly reduce climate pollution at scale, starting in California. We are a think-tank, do-tank working to turn bold ideas into action for a climate-safe future. Our flagship Climate-Safe California campaign is a unique and comprehensive effort to make California the first state in the nation to reach carbon negative. www.theclimatecenter.org