As the COP28 conference draws to an end, the climate summit in Dubai has not only chosen its next host but also stirred heated discussions on fossil fuels in its final declaration.
The spotlight is now on the South Caucasus nation of Azerbaijan, as COP28 approved the proposal for the next summit to be hosted there. This decision came after Azerbaijan secured the support of Eastern European nations on December 9. The breakthrough followed a crucial agreement with Armenia, Azerbaijan's neighbor and historical adversary, ensuring no veto would be imposed on the move.
As leaders and negotiators sprint to finalize the COP28 summit's declaration, the fossil fuel debate takes center stage. The latest draft, circulating on Monday, introduces language addressing the "reduction of both consumption and production of fossil fuels." Notably, it falls short of advocating for a complete phase-out.
The draft, spearheaded by COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber, who also heads the national oil company ADNOC, remains unapproved. Al Jaber, alongside the UAE presidency of the climate summit, is pushing for an unprecedented commitment to curtail fossil fuel usage to be included in the final statement.
While the draft retains previously agreed-upon objectives, such as tripling global renewable energy capacity by 2030, it introduces a groundbreaking call for Parties to take actions that may involve reducing both fossil fuel consumption and production. The emphasis is on achieving net-zero emissions by, before, or around 2050, aligning with scientific recommendations.
As the COP28 conference hurtles toward its conclusion, all eyes are on the final statement which is unlikely to explicitly state a phase-out of fossil fuels.
By Tom Kool for Oilprice.com
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