COP28 Agreement Represents Progress for Biodiversity, But More Urgent Action is Needed

The final agreement reached by negotiators at the COP28 summit in Dubai contained some historic language on fossil fuels and biodiversity, but ultimately represents the bare minimum of what must be done to address climate change.
Great Egret. Photo: Erin Lucas/Audubon Photography Awards

DUBAI (December 13, 2023) – The National Audubon Society praised portions of the final agreement signed by nations at the COP28 summit, but cautioned that more stringent action must be taken to reduce the rate of global temperature rise and conserve habitat for birds and wildlife.  

“We certainly welcome a final agreement that takes a historic first step away from fossil fuels and recognizes the vital need to reverse biodiversity loss in solving the climate crisis,” said Sarah Rose, vice-president of climate for the National Audubon Society. “We know the world will need to do more, and more quickly, than this statement entails. We will continue to work with our local, national, and global partners to match the urgency this moment requires. This agreement must be seen as a floor, not a ceiling.” 

Representatives from the National Audubon Society were in Dubai promoting the importance of nature-based solutions, such as conserving landscapes like mangroves, forests, and grasslands that provide critical bird habitat as well as serving as natural climate sinks. Audubon also promoted the responsible expansion of renewable energy and transmission, sustainable agriculture, and equitable hemispheric approaches to conservation that address birds’ entire migration routes while working with communities that share habitats with migratory birds.  

The final agreement from negotiating parties at COP28 emphasized, in part: 

  • 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; 

  • Tripling renewable energy capacity globally and doubling the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030; 

  • Underlining the urgent need to address, in a comprehensive and synergetic manner, the interlinked global crises of climate change and biodiversity loss in the broader context of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the vital importance of protecting, conserving, restoring and sustainably using nature and ecosystems for effective and sustainable climate action 

  • The importance of conserving, protecting and restoring nature and ecosystems towards achieving the Paris Agreement temperature goal, including through enhanced efforts towards halting and reversing deforestation and forest degradation by 2030, and other terrestrial and marine ecosystems acting as sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases and by conserving biodiversity, while ensuring social and environmental safeguards. 

About Audubon  
The National Audubon Society is a nonprofit conservation organization that protects birds and the places they need today and tomorrow. We work throughout the Americas towards a future where birds thrive because Audubon is a powerful, diverse, and ever-growing force for conservation. Audubon has more than 700 staff working across the hemisphere and more than 1.5 million active supporters. North America has lost three billion birds since 1970, and more than 500 bird species are at risk of extinction across Latin America and the Caribbean. Birds act as early warning systems about the health of our environment, and they tell us that birds – and our planet – are in crisis. Together as one Audubon, we are working to alter the course of climate change and habitat loss, leading to healthier bird populations and reversing current trends in biodiversity loss. We do this by implementing on-the-ground conservation, partnering with local communities, influencing public and corporate policy, and building community. Learn more at and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety. 

Media Contact: Robyn Shepherd,