Groundbreaking COP28 proposal calls for 'transitioning away from fossil fuels'
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Groundbreaking COP28 proposal calls for ‘transitioning away from fossil fuels’

Groundbreaking COP28 proposal calls for ‘transitioning away from fossil fuels’

In a first for the climate summit in three decades, a draft proposal looks to get 200 countries to agree to transition away from fossil fuels.


The COP28 Presidency released a proposed text of a final climate deal on Wednesday that would, for the first time, push nations to transition away from fossil fuels to avert the worst effects of climate change.

The draft is meant to reflect the consensus view of nearly 200 countries gathered at the conference in Dubai, where scores of governments have insisted on strong language to signal an eventual end to the fossil fuel era – over protests from members of the oil producer group OPEC and its allies.

READ IN FULL: Newest draft of COP28 agreement released

“It is the first time that the world unites around such a clear text on the need to transition away from fossil fuels. It has been the elephant in the room. At last we address it head on,” said Norway’s Minister for Climate and the Environment, Espen Barth Eide.

Country representatives have been called to what the COP28 Presidency hopes is a final meeting on Wednesday morning, where they could pass the deal and end two weeks of tough negotiations that have run a day into overtime.

Deals struck at UN climate summits must be passed by consensus, at which point individual countries are responsible for delivering on the agreements through national policies and investments.

The proposed deal would specifically call for “transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly and equitable manner … so as to achieve net zero by 2050 in keeping with the science.”

It also calls for a tripling of renewable energy capacity globally by 2030, speeding up efforts to reduce coal, and accelerating technologies such as carbon capture and storage that can clean up hard-to-decarbonise industries.

If adopted, it would mark the first time in three decades of COP climate summits that nations have agreed on a concerted move away from oil, gas and coal, which account for 80% of global
energy. Scientists say fossil fuels are by far the largest source of the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change.

“The latest Global Stocktake text sends a strong signal that world leaders recognise that a sharp turn away from fossil fuels … is essential to meet our climate goals,” said Rachel Cleetus, policy director at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

She noted, however, that the proposal does not commit rich countries to offer more financing to help developing countries transition away from fossil fuels.

“The finance and equity provisions… are seriously insufficient and must be improved in the time ahead in order to ensure low- and middle-income countries can transition to clean energy and close the energy poverty gap,” she said.


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