COP28: On Final Day, Agreement reached for Global Transition away from Fossil Fuels

Countries at the COP28 UN climate summit have agreed to a deal that for the first time calls on all nations to transition away from fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas, to prevent the adverse effects of climate change, however, the agreement excluded the use of earlier stronger language to “phase out fossil fuels.”

This comes despite calls for a section of global scientists and civil society groups for an explicit commitment to phase out or phase down fossil fuels.

Instead, a compromise was reached that called on countries to contribute to global efforts to transition “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”.

The final pact however “calls on” countries to “transition away” from fossil fuels, and specifically for energy systems – but not for plastics, transport or agriculture.

The BBC reported that several countries, including the US, UK and European Union had pushed for a phase out from the opening of the talks.

It stated that close to 200 nations were in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates for almost two weeks to try to make progress on tackling climate change after months of record-breaking extreme weather.

On his X (formerly Twitter) handle before the landmark COP28 agreement, the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, posted, “Science tells us that limiting global heating to 1.5°C will be impossible without the phase out of fossil fuels. This was also recognized by a growing & diverse coalition of countries at #COP28. The era of fossil fuels must end – and it must end with justice & equity.”

“Whether you like it or not, fossil fuel phase-out is inevitable. Let’s hope it doesn’t come too late.”


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