Nicole Rodel, Oil Change International, (CET)

Valentina Stackl, Oil Change International, (EST)


Bonn Climate Conference must deliver a pathway towards an agreement on fossil fuel phase out and a renewable energy revolution at COP28

Bonn, Germany. 5 June 2023 – Climate negotiators will gather this week for the Bonn Climate Change Conference. While the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) urges countries to double down to achieve a net-zero future ahead of  COP28, concern and uncertainty about the integrity of the climate negotiations process are high amid the contentious UAE COP presidency.

At COP27 in Sharm-el Sheikh, over 80 countries supported a push for the COP conclusions to acknowledge the need to phase out all fossil fuels to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement. COP28 president and ADNOC CEO Sultan Al Jaber failed to build on this momentum, instead shifting emphasis away from phasing out fossil fuels to phasing out emissions. This dangerous approach concerns climate experts and civil society groups as the UAE impedes climate action at COP28, forcing pro-fossil fuel interests over the UNFCCC process.

The UAE COP presidency is also at odds with UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ call to action for countries to cease new oil and gas production, stop expansion of existing reserves, and shift subsidies from fossil fuels to a just energy transition. 

International Energy Agency (IEA) and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios prove that phasing out fossil fuels is at the center of a science-based strategy to avoid catastrophic warming of our planet. The keys to rapid and effective emissions reductions is to scale up renewable energy, increase energy efficiency, and equitably reduce fossil fuel demand. 

As the halfway mark to COP28, officials and civil society are looking to this week’s Bonn climate talks as a major moment for the COP presidency to outline its summit plan. 

Ahead of the Bonn Climate Change Conference, experts from Oil Change International released the following statements:

Romain Ioualalen, Global Policy lead at Oil Change International, said:

“We are at a critical juncture as world leaders convene in Bonn this week. As COP28 approaches, it is crucial that we double down on efforts to build a clean, renewable energy future for all.

“There are heartening signs of real leadership coming from a number of countries around the world. For example, Vanuatu and Tuvalu have championed the call for a Fossil Free Pacific. Pacific leadership played a critical role in the Paris Agreement negotiations, and these large ocean nations stand poised to lead again. The Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance has continued to grow, and we look to those nations to play a key role too. 

“COP28 will be a success if it unlocks a global renewable energy revolution and a fast, fair, and full phase out of fossil fuel production and consumption.  It’s too late to phase out one fossil fuel at a time, to focus on one sector at a time, or to open the doors to dangerous distractions like CCS.

“The Bonn conference must be an opportunity for countries to course correct by following the science and ushering in the end of the fossil fuels era. The stakes are high, and the world is watching.”

David Tong, Global Industry lead at Oil Change International, said:

“For us to have a future, oil, gas, and coal must have no future. The writing is on the wall for Big Oil and Gas. This fortnight’s conference is a crucial moment for the incoming COP28 presidency to outline its plan for the December summit and to demonstrate it can act in the interest of the climate and not the oil and gas industry. If the UAE Presidency continues on its path to delay the inevitable end of fossil fuels, it will not only further undermine its crumbling reputation but it will also permanently endanger the entirety of the climate process. For COP28 to be a success, it must call for a fast, fair, and full phase out of all fossil fuels.”