The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) ended with the announcement of a new agreement described as “the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era”, as leading apparel sector bodies react to the new deal.

by Rachel Lawler | December 15, 2023

UN climate change executive secretary Simon Stiell said in his closing speech at COP28: “Whilst we didn’t turn the page on the fossil fuel era in Dubai, this outcome is the beginning of the end.”

Stiell added that all governments – as well as businesses – need to turn the pledges made into “real-economy outcomes, without delay”.

While the overall message of the agreement has been welcomed, sector bodies AAFA and USFIA said there was more to be done, as they looked away from governments and towards private businesses for the changes needed. ...

USFIA’s president Julie Hughes also welcomed the agreement to transition away from fossil fuels. She told Just Style: “It is important that world leaders came together and for the first time agreed to transition away from fossil fuels. Though obviously there is a lot more to be done.”

Hughes also noted that the pledges left room for businesses to address climate concerns without legislation. She added: “While USFIA is still assessing the outcome of COP28, it is clear to me that the real progress will continue to come from the private sector and not from governments.

“We see this already with the many fashion brands and retailers who are committed to sustainability and circularity initiatives. Our shared goal is to do what we can to make the world a better place for our customers, our colleagues and our suppliers,” Hughes added.

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