World leaders have reached a new agreement to tackle climate change with the proposed plan to reach net zero by 2050 at COP28 in Dubai.

Now known as the UAE Consensus, the document ‘calls on parties to contribute’ to efforts at bringing down emissions, and in turn air pollution. This includes ‘transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems’ in a ‘just, orderly and equitable manner, accelerating action in this critical decade, so as to achieve net zero by 2050 in keeping with the science.’

However, the deal doesn’t compel countries to take action, and no timescale is specified.

The agreement includes global targets to triple the capacity of renewable energy like wind and solar power, and to double the rate of energy efficiency improvements, both by 2030.

It also calls on countries to accelerate low- and zero-emission technologies like carbon capture and storage.

COP28 was the 28th annual United Nations (UN) climate meeting, where governments discuss how to limit and prepare for future climate change. The summit took place in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It was scheduled to last from 30 November to 12 December 2023, but overran by a day.

200 nations were represented in talks, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi were among the world leaders to attend the beginning of the summit.

US President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping did not go, but both countries were heavily represented.

King Charles gave the opening address, warning that humans were carrying out a “vast, frightening experiment” on the planet.

Nearly 100,000 politicians, diplomats, journalists and campaigners registered for the meeting, making it the biggest climate conference ever held. This included around 2,400 people connected to the coal, oil and gas industries, which underlined concern about the influence of fossil fuel groups.