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Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews. 

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Tense Negotiations Over Fossil Fuel Phase Down as COP28 Nears End

  • COP28 negotiators, including COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber, are engaged in intense discussions over the inclusion of a commitment to phase down fossil fuels in the final statement.
  • Saudi Arabia, the world's largest crude oil exporter, vehemently opposes language calling for the phase-down of fossil fuels.
  • UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell has announced the circulation of a new draft text, narrowing down negotiations.

With just one day left of the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, negotiators and delegates were still discussing on Monday a possible agreement on phasing down fossil fuels and scaling up finance for mitigation of climate change.

The COP28 President, Sultan Al Jaber, who is also chief executive of national oil company ADNOC, is pushing for a deal to include in the final statement – for the first time – a commitment to cut the use of fossil fuels in the future.

“We need to find consensus and common ground on fossil fuels, including coal,” Al Jaber said at the conference on Sunday, as carried by Bloomberg.

“We need to also come to terms with the sources of finance and support” for adaptation and a just transition.

While many countries support language in the final communique about “phasing down” or even “phasing out” fossil fuels, major oil-exporting countries, especially Saudi Arabia, have firmly opposed such language.

Last week, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told Bloomberg that the Kingdom would not endorse any text that calls for the phase-down of fossil fuels at the COP28 summit.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude oil exporter, will “Absolutely not” be happy to have the language “fossil fuels should be phased down,” the Saudi minister said.

As of Friday, the then version of the draft text with “refined textual building blocks” offered several options for language about the phase-out of fossil fuels, including “A phase out of fossil fuels in line with best available science” and an option not to include any text.  

A new text will be circulated for debate shortly, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell said on Monday.

“The areas where options need to be negotiated have narrowed significantly,” Stiell said, adding that

“We are now here to discuss two issues. One - How high is our ambition on mitigation. And two - Are we willing to back this transition with the proper means of support to deliver it.”

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on December 11 2023 said:
    There should be no reference to a phase-out or phase-down of fossil fuels in the final text of the COP28.

    The only reference included in the textis that the use of fossil fuels should continue as long as the global economy needs them and this should go hand in hand with intensive carbon-catching Measures. As renewables’ share in global electricity generation rises, less fossil fuels will be needed.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert
  • Robert Rousseau on December 11 2023 said:
    This is absolute insanity. Neither the Saudis or Al Jaber give one fig for humanity or all Life on this planet, which is now threatened with civilizational collapse and near term extinction. They just don't get it. They are blinded by their billions and by their egoic delusions. The oceans can not absorb any more C02. Phytoplankton in the oceans is dying. Phytoplankton releases all the oxygen we breathe. When the phytoplankton dies, do will humanity. The Saudis, the billionaires, and the politicians will suffer and die like everyone else. No one is immune. They they will face their Maker and answer the question as to why they did not prevent human extinction.

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