The COP28 climate summit, which ran one day into extra time amid heated debates on the future of fossil fuel use and production, ended early on Wednesday with a compromise text referencing for the first time a call to all parties to transition away from fossil fuels.
The summit host, the United Arab Emirates, which is also one of OPEC’s top producers and exporters, hailed “the UAE consensus” as a historic deal to reduce emissions.
The final text adopted by the countries references for the first time in such summit declarations an explicit call for transitioning away from fossil fuels.
But the final agreement is watered down compared to any references to phasing out or phasing down of fossil fuels, as objections from many oil exporting countries – led by Saudi Arabia – held back talks in the final days and sent the conference into overtime on Wednesday, a day later than its planned end early on Tuesday.
The Conference of the Parties “Further recognizes the need for deep, rapid and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in line with 1.5 °C pathways and calls on Parties to contribute to the following global efforts, in a nationally determined manner, taking into account the Paris Agreement and their different national circumstances, pathways and approaches,” the text reads.
One of the “global efforts” is “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.”
COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber said after the agreement was announced, “We delivered world first after world first. A global goal to triple renewables and double energy efficiency. Declarations on agriculture, food and health. More oil and gas companies stepping up for the first time on methane and emissions. And we have language on fossil fuels in our final agreement.”
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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