FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Valentina Stackl, Oil Change International – email@example.com (ET)
Nicole Rodel, Oil Change International – firstname.lastname@example.org (GMT+2)
Fossil fuel phase out top of the agenda at COP28 preliminary talks
November 1, 2023 – As countries conclude preliminary talks in Abu Dhabi ahead of the UAE-hosted COP28 climate summit, an agreement to phase out fossil fuels has taken center stage as a key expected outcome.
A group of countries, including France, Spain, Ireland, Kenya, and 11 other countries are calling for a phase out of fossil fuel production, as well as an agreement to end new oil and gas while tripling renewable energy and doubling energy efficiency, and emphasizing that abatement technologies such as carbon capture and storage cannot be used to delay climate action.
The call for a fossil fuel phaseout has been gaining momentum: earlier this year over half a million people marched ahead of the UNSG Climate Ambition Summit demanding a fossil fuel phase out, COP President Sultan Al Jaber has stated the inclusion of fossil fuel phase out must emerge as a priority for many parties, and today, thousands of health professionals called for an “accelerated, just and equitable phase-out of fossil fuels as the decisive path to health for all.” The European Union’s recently published COP28 position also recognizes the need for the energy sector to be free of fossil fuels.
It will be key to ensure poorly defined “abatement” technologies, promoted by the fossil fuel industry and its enablers, meant to distract from the need to for a full and fair phase out of all fossil fuels will not be included in any final COP28 agreements.
Romain Ioualalen, Global Policy Manager at Oil Change International, says:
“These preliminary talks show that fossil fuel phase out is for the first time at the top of the agenda at COP28. If countries are serious about limiting warming to 1.5°C, they must come to an agreement on ending fossil fuel expansion and building a just and equitable phase out of all fossil fuels, enabled by providing the necessary funding to triple renewable energy and doubling energy efficiency. We will fight any attempts from petro-states, including the COP28 Presidency, to distract from negotiated outcomes on the energy transition through voluntary pledges and initiatives whose sole purpose is to greenwash the oil and gas industry’s bet on climate failure.
“Abatement technologies are the fossil fuel industry’s favorite tool to distract from the need for a full phase out of all fossil fuels, and any inclusion of it in a COP28 agreement to phase out fossil fuels is a grave risk to international climate goals, and countries must hold a firm line against it to maintain credibility and integrity at COP28 and beyond. Governments must arrive at the negotiations prepared to take action commensurate with what the science is telling us: agree to a managed, planned decline of fossil fuel production to avoid the worst impacts of the existential climate crisis.”