Cop28: countries to ‘transition’ away from fossil fuels

Cop28 has finally come to a close, with governments agreeing to transition away from using fossil fuels – instead of phasing them out.

Transitioning 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 agreement states.

Cop28 president Sultan Al Jaber said it is a “plan led by the science” and an “enhanced, balance” and “historic package to accelerate climate action”.

“It is the UAE consensus,” he added.

“We have language on fossil fuel in our final agreement for the first time ever.”

UK climate change minister Graham Stuart said the agreement is “something we can genuinely celebrate”.

“Establishing a fund to deal with loss and damage was long overdue – the UK was pleased to contribute to that fund,” he commented.

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Greenpeace International senior political advisor Kaisa Kosonen said the Cop28 agreement “is not the historical deal the world needed”.

“You won’t find the words ‘phase out’ in the text, but that’s what the equitable transition away from fossil fuels in line with 1.5C and science will necessitate, when implemented sustainably,” Kosonen argued.

Climate Action Network International head of global political strategy Harjeet Singh also argued the agreement is “marred by loopholes that offer the fossil fuel industry numerous escape routes”.

“The hypocrisy of wealthy nations, particularly the US, as they continue to expand fossil fuel operations massively while merely paying lip service to the green transition, stands exposed,” Singh added.

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