December 13, 2023

Whitehouse Statement on Landmark COP28 Deal

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today released the following statement after a deal was struck at the U.N.’s 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP)—the largest and most important venue for world governments to gather to find international agreement on ways to solve the global climate crisis—to boost renewable energy production and transition away from fossil fuels:

“COP28 was my sixth.  My first COP was Paris in 2015, which produced the historic Paris Agreement.  In 2015, atmospheric CO2 concentrations averaged 401 parts per million.  Now, they’re close to 420 parts per million.  Atmospheric methane concentrations are also climbing, even accelerating.  It’s hard to say the COPs have been a huge success.

“It was obvious to many going in to COP28 that to head off climate change we need to transition away from fossil fuel.  So saying this seems like little progress.  But for COP participants that have not previously recognized this inevitability and necessity, this amounts to a step forward, and unanimity matters in international agreements.  It’s not nothing.

“But COP ‘pledges’ and ‘ambition’ require real policies consistent with these grand statements.  For that we must defeat the increasingly desperate lies of the fossil fuel industry and its well-funded campaign of political obstruction.  What will work are strong carbon border tariffs, and real methane leak enforcement, and widely-applied ‘social cost of carbon’ rules, and rapid energy transition, and real political transparency.  We have no time to waste.”

Whitehouse returned from COP28 on Tuesday after participating in a bipartisan delegation led by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Ben Cardin (D-MD). 


Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921