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COP28 Headed for ‘Complete Failure’ as Fossil Fuel Debate Rages

The COP28 climate summit extended overtime on Tuesday as nations continue to disagree on wording about the use and production of fossil fuels, with former Western officials suggesting that the Dubai conference is on “the verge of complete failure”.

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore said that “COP28 is now on the verge of complete failure.”

“The world desperately needs to phase out fossil fuels as quickly as possible, but this obsequious draft reads as if OPEC dictated it word for word,” Gore added in an X post.  

A draft final statement on Monday, which referenced only suggestions about “Reducing both consumption and production of fossil fuels” angered many developed nations and island nations for not including any “phase out of fossil fuels” language.

The draft was put forward by the COP28 President, Sultan Al Jaber, who is also the chief executive of national oil company ADNOC.

This draft says that the Conference of the Parties “calls upon Parties to take actions that could include”, among other things, “Reducing both consumption and production of fossil fuels, in a just, orderly and equitable manner so as to achieve net zero by, before, or around 2050 in keeping with the science.”

The draft also includes the texts, “Rapidly phasing down unabated coal and limitations on permitting new and unabated coal power generation” and “Phasing out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption and do not address energy poverty or just transitions, as soon as possible.”

Chances of a compromise looked slim early on Tuesday after the U.S., the EU, the UK, Australia, and a group of island nations most severely hit by climate change said they refuse to sign a document that doesn’t mention a phase-out of fossil fuels. Delegates from small island nations said they would not endorse an agreement that would be a “death warrant” for the countries worst hit by climate change.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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