The World Is Far From Finding Common Ground On Fossil Fuels


  • At COP28, chances are not high that the heads of state and government would manage this time to agree on a text to set a timeline for phasing out fossil fuels.
  • A pledge to triple renewables capacity by 2030 has a better chance of passing the COP28 negotiations than any texts containing “phasing out fossil fuels.”
  • Big energy-consuming nations dependent on fossil fuels haven’t been keen on any ‘phase out’ language in the final statements of the previous climate summits.

As the COP28 climate summit approaches, the world continues to be divided on the future of fossil fuels and the pathway to drastically reduce emissions. The summit in Dubai, one of the emirates of OPEC member the United Arab Emirates (UAE), begins at the end of this month, and expectations are—as in previous such summits—that the leaders of the countries could reach a common ground on at least phasing down fossil fuels or a timeline to phase out coal, reports Oil Price.

15 Countries Call For Fossil Fuel Phase-out

The so-called High Ambition Coalition, which also includes Kenya, Ethiopia, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu, among others, said in a joint statement this week that “Fossil fuels are at the root of this crisis.”

They propose the negotiation to include phasing out fossil fuel production and use, ending new coal and the expansion of existing coal mines, and “an urgent phase-out of coal-fired power generation.”

“We must phase out all international public finance for fossil fuel development and power generation, and as governments, we must demand that fossil fuel producing companies publish trackable transition plans that set out how they’ll cut emissions by 2025, and reach net zero by 2050 – and create the incentives for them to deliver those plans,” the 15 countries said.

Triple Renewables Capacity 

The coalition is also calling for an agreement on more than tripling global renewables capacity by 2030 and achieving universal energy access by 2030 through a renewables roll-out, and the provision of international financial support for the poorest.

Momentum has been growing in calls for tripling clean energy capacity. Last week, the COP28 Presidency, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and the Global Renewables Alliance (GRA) said that the world could fast-track the energy transition and cut carbon emissions by tripling global renewable power capacity to 11,000 GW and double average annual energy efficiency improvements by 2030.

A pledge to triple renewables capacity by 2030 has a better chance of passing the COP28 negotiations than any texts containing “phasing out fossil fuels.”

Large fossil fuel producers, including Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern producers, as well as big energy consumers such as China and India, will not agree to the “fossil fuel phase out” language.

Divided World 

COP28 President Al Jaber told the UN Climate Ambition Summit in September that the “phase-down of fossil fuels is essential. It is inevitable. And it must go hand-in-hand with a rapid phase up of zero-carbon alternatives.”

Al Jaber urged a rapid expansion of renewables but stopped short of calling for a phase out of fossil fuels.

Earlier this week, Al Jaber told delegates at Pre-COP in Abu Dhabi, “There are too many things dividing our world at this moment.”

“Now more than ever we need to unite on climate and deliver a clear message of hope, solidary, stability, and prosperity,” he added.

Al Jaber has also called on the oil and gas industry to show the world that it could be part of the solution, not the problem, in the energy transition.

“This industry can and must help drive the solutions. For too long, this industry has been viewed as part of the problem, that it’s not doing enough and in some cases even blocking progress,” Al Jaber said at the ADIPEC energy conference last month.

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Source: Oil Price