Between November 30 and December 12, 154 heads of state and government met at the 28th Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP28) in Dubai. Eight years after the Paris Agreement, COP28 aimed to conclude the first global stocktake of the commitments made by States under the Agreement, and to draw up an action plan: what climate measures will be taken and how States will implement them.

Despite the modest 21-page final document, several provisions stand out. Let’s take a look at a few that affect Will Solutions in one way or another.

Target 1.5°C: Key COP28 Resolutions

Firstly, among the general provisions, the COP reiterates that the global climate objective is still to limit the rise in temperatures to 1.5°C, as has been the goal for several COPs already. The global assessment recognizes that: 

To limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5°C, we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43% below 2019 levels by 2030, by 60% by 2035 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

One of the key points to emerge from COP28 was that unless joint efforts are more ambitious over the next five years, global temperatures are likely to exceed a rise of 1.5°C. Thus, to achieve such a level of reduction, we need to make “deep, rapid and consistent” changes. Will Solutions contributes to these efforts by offering SMEs, not-for-profit organizations, municipalities and other organizations a measure of their carbon footprint, with suggestions for projects to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

To achieve this objective, we need to prioritize problematic sectors. The global balance sheet highlights the most significant sources of emissions. COP28 therefore formulated eight approaches to reducing emissions, including improving energy efficiency, phasing out coal-fired power generation, reducing transport emissions, and eliminating inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.

Will solutions and contributions to COP28 objectives

Among the eight climate change mitigation measures, Will Solutions proudly contributes to the following two: 

Financing low-carbon energy

“Move away from fossil fuels”, in a fair and equitable way, with the aim of reaching net zero by 2050. 

This provision has generated a lot of media attention in recent weeks, due to its non-committal nature and the difficulties involved in implementing it. In concrete terms, what can be done and how? As an organization, we can opt for alternative energy sources, such as hydroelectricity, geothermal energy or biomass. Although this is much easier said than done, Will Solutions can support you in your energy conversion projects by providing financial rewards.

Reducing methane emissions: challenges and practical solutions

Landfill representing methane emissions. Will Solutions promotes alternatives to reduce these emissions.

Significantly reduce non-carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, particularly methane emissions.

Methane retains more heat in the atmosphere per molecule than carbon dioxide (CO2), making it 80 times more harmful than CO2 for 20 years after emission. Although CO2 has a longer lifetime in the atmosphere, reducing methane is essential to limit warming in the short term. According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, methane is the second most common greenhouse gas in Canada after CO2.

It is therefore important to reduce its emissions. Methane emissions come from oil and gas production, animal waste, wastewater and landfill sites. On a local scale, methane emissions can be avoided by opting for alternative waste management methods to landfill.

The Will Solutions Sustainable Community brings together numerous projects involving composting, recycling, biomethanization, reuse and other types of waste reclamation. Discover the success story of a Canadian ecocenter here.

COP28 defines green financing as a catalyst for climate action

Obviously, implementing projects to reduce GHG emissions is not possible without an action plan. The COP28 action plan includes technology development, international cooperation, stakeholder collaboration and, above all, financing. In fact, Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, described financing as “the great catalyst for climate action“. Among other provisions, the Conference recognized that :

The private sector has a role to play in financing and creating the conditions for “the global transition to low emissions and climate resilience”. This provision reflects the financial potential of private enterprise.

Will Solutions is fulfilling its corporate role in the fight against climate change. Indeed, Will Solutions’ business model makes it possible to generate financing for local projects to reduce GHG emissions.

This contributes to the financing of climate change mitigation in Quebec and Ontario. In this way, Will Solutions has helped Canadian organizations reduce more than eight million tonnes of greenhouse gases.

COP28 key points on the voluntary carbon market

Landfill representing methane emissions. Will Solutions promotes alternatives to reduce these emissions.

COP28 underlined the essential role of voluntary carbon markets in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Here are the key points:

Recognition of the role of voluntary markets: Leaders, including COP28 President Dr. Sultan Al-Jaber, explicitly recognized the role of voluntary carbon markets in the transition to a low-carbon economy. They emphasized the complementarity of these markets with other carbon pricing mechanisms.

Willingness to step up the voluntary carbon market: COP28 highlighted the need to step up the voluntary carbon market as a crucial tool for increasing climate ambition. Speakers emphasized its potential to stimulate rapid, large-scale decarbonization projects.

Spotlight on carbon credits for reduction at source: COP28 put the spotlight on carbon credits for reduction at source, highlighting concrete projects such as Communauté Durable. This recognition underlines their crucial impact on the transition to a low-carbon economy.

High integrity guarantees: The importance of guaranteeing the integrity, credibility and transparency of voluntary carbon markets was underlined. The establishment of safeguards, such as the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market, was praised for setting high standards in the provision of carbon credits.

Capacity of voluntary markets to channel financing: Voluntary carbon markets have been identified as instruments that can channel financing towards decarbonization projects.

Global coordination for carbon markets: The need for global coordination between stakeholders, including governments, multilateral institutions, companies and verification bodies, was emphasized. This is to ensure the smooth operation and efficiency of voluntary carbon markets in the context of the Paris Agreement objectives.

Regulatory response: The announcement by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to propose specific regulations for voluntary carbon credit derivative contracts underlined a global trend towards stricter rules for these markets, reinforcing their legitimacy and credibility.

Financial commitments: Although the specific details of financial commitments in voluntary carbon are not disclosed, COP28 saw a notable increase in global climate funds. However, it must be stressed that current funding remains insufficient to fully meet the decarbonization needs required to achieve ambitious climate goals.

Calls to Action: COP28 was marked by determined calls to step up action in favor of the voluntary carbon market.

Thus, COP28 positioned the voluntary carbon market as a vital instrument in the fight against climate change, emphasizing its potential to mobilize financing, increase climate ambition and foster innovative and diversified decarbonization projects. 

In his closing speech, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell emphasized that although the transition has begun, the key will be to turn these commitments into concrete results and achieve a 1.5 degree world. Despite progress, challenges remain, and civil society is encouraged to keep up the pressure for real change.

As a climate player for over a decade, Will Solutions is not shaken by the global assessment and conclusions reached at COP28. However, we are not indifferent to the urgency of the COP28 document.

We all need to make a contribution to a low-carbon lifestyle. Every action counts, and Will Solutions is here to guide you, advise you and reward you for your sustainable corporate efforts!

Authors and editors of the article

Anne Ménard
GHG Auditor
Writer and editor

Raphaël Pittavino-Varitto
Digital Marketing and Communications Manager