The Royal Society responds to the COP28 climate deal

13 December 2023

The Royal Society has welcomed the historic deal reached at the COP28 climate summit by almost 200 countries.

Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society said: "The Royal Society welcomes the historic deal reached at the COP28 climate summit by almost 200 countries.The ‘UAE Consensus’ includes recognition of the need for deep, rapid and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and to transition away from fossil fuel in energy systems.

“It is now unequivocal that humans are warming the planet and causing changes to the climate, water cycle, and oceans that threaten ecosystems and human life and, according to the UNEP emissions gap report, published in November 2023, the world is currently not on track to meet targets set out in the Paris Agreement in 2015.

“Achieving net zero by 2050 will require a huge transformation in the production and use of energy, away from fossil fuel dependence towards renewable and sustainable alternatives. Financial and technical support must be rapidly scaled to be commensurate with the needs of low- and middle-income countries to help them transition away from fossil fuels and adapt to current and future climate change. To this end we are pleased that further efforts towards this were made at this conference.

“Managing an electricity system with increased levels of variable renewable supply and increased but variable demand will require, as outlined in the Large scale electricity Storage Report, substantial stores of energy (~50 to 100 TWh), with bulk storage of green hydrogen being the cheapest option.

“The Royal Society urges all countries involved to increase their efforts to transition away from fossil fuels for the overall benefit of humanity.”


Read the 2023 Anniversary Day Address from Adrian Smith PRS.