Dear COP28 Presidency,

Over 320 civil society organizations say:

This United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) must unlock an equitable global energy transition that phases out fossil fuels ‚Äď the primary cause of the climate crisis.¬†

COP28 has the potential to be an historic moment in confronting the climate crisis. The COP28 Presidency has an opportunity to secure a transformational negotiated outcome, if it secures a robust negotiated energy package, including an unambiguous agreement to end all new oil and gas expansion, a clear call to equitably and rapidly phase out all fossil fuels, and a commitment to triple deployment of nature-positive and community-beneficial renewable energy and double energy efficiency.

However, instead of focusing on this historic opportunity, the COP28 Presidency appears to have been encouraging fossil fuel companies to make yet another set of hollow voluntary pledges, with no accountability mechanism or guarantee the companies will follow through. Releasing another in the long succession of voluntary industry commitments that end up being breached will not make COP28 a success. Voluntary efforts are insufficient, and are a distraction from the task at hand.

Over 310 civil society organizations agree: COP28 must adopt a comprehensive energy transformation package with legal force ‚Äď including a full, fast, fair, and funded fossil fuel phaseout, renewable energy and energy efficiency targets, real protections for people and nature, and massively scaled up public funding on fair terms. This is a chance for the COP28 Presidency to show true leadership.

This year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reiterated its finding multiple times that any new oil, gas and coal expansion beyond existing fields and mines is incompatible with keeping warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius (¬įC). The November 2023 update of the Global Oil & Gas Exit List confirmed that oil and gas companies worldwide still plan to produce far more oil and gas than can ever be burned to limit warming to 1.5¬ļC ‚Äď with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) ranking very worst in terms of overshoot beyond the IEA‚Äôs 1.5¬ļC scenario.

The only way to achieve the ambition of the Paris Agreement is to substantially reduce the extraction and consumption of fossil fuels, starting now. In fact, Oil Change International research shows that far too much oil, gas, and coal is already developed: 60% of the fossil fuels in currently active fields and mines must stay in the ground to limit global temperature to 1.5 ¬įC.

Despite this, fossil fuel companies and their enablers ‚Äď including some governments ‚Äď appear to be trying to ignore the scientific reality, pretending cutting their operational emissions is enough to meet climate targets, while approving new projects that expand overall oil and gas production and worsen the climate crisis.

Through this year, media reports have covered successive versions of COP28 Presidency led ‚ÄúGlobal Decarbonization Accelerator‚ÄĚ (the “Global Decarbonization Accelerator” has also been referenced as the “Oil and Gas Decarbonization Accelerator”, the ‚ÄúOil and Gas Charter‚ÄĚ, and the “Global Decarbonization Alliance‚ÄĚ) that serves primarily to greenwash the fossil fuel industry. Even the most recent drafts appear to contain only limited commitments to address these companies‚Äô operational emissions, while ignoring the vast majority of their total emissions. In reality, 80 to 90 percent of oil and gas companies‚Äô emissions result when the fossil fuels they produce and sell are burned (called ‚Äėscope 3‚Äô emissions) ‚Äď which this voluntary commitment entirely ignores.

Reducing oil and gas operational emissions without sharp reductions in overall fossil fuel production will fail to achieve the cuts in methane emissions necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Cutting methane pollution from the oil and gas supply chain is an important component of near-term emissions reductions ‚Äď but it is not enough on its own. A new report from the IEA and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition released October 11 makes clear that the only way to limit global temperature rise to 1.5¬ļC is to phase out fossil fuels, and that methane reductions serve only to ensure that operational emissions do not undermine progress toward that goal. The IEA has stated repeatedly that the story of carbon capture and storage “has largely been one of unmet expectations‚ÄĚ. The only safe and effective way to “clean up” fossil fuel pollution is to phase out fossil fuels.

Methane emissions and gas flaring are symptoms of a more than century-long legacy of wasteful, destructive practices that are routine in the oil and gas industry as it pursues massive profits without regard for the consequences. That the industry, at this crucial moment in the climate emergency, is offering to clean up its mess around the edges in lieu of the rapid oil and gas phase-out that is needed is an insult to the billions impacted both by climate change and the industry’s appalling legacy of pollution and community health impacts.¬†

By refusing to commit to address the emissions from oil and gas being burned and to end fossil fuel expansion, the proposed ‚ÄėGlobal Decarbonization Accelerator‚Äô would serve as a smokescreen to hide the reality that we need to phase out oil, gas, and coal.¬†

Voluntary commitments are a dangerous distraction from what is needed at COP28. Oil and gas companies meeting to sign a pledge that only deals with their operational emissions is like a group of arsonists meeting to promise to light fires more efficiently.

We encourage the COP28 Presidency to drop the Global Decarbonization Accelerator and instead work with all negotiators at COP to secure a comprehensive energy transition package, including a full, fair, fast, and funded phase-out of all fossil fuel production and use. 

Yours faithfully,

350.org

Greenpeace

Oil Change International

The Climate Reality Project

Earthworks

Tearfund

Sierra Club

Environmental Defence Canada

Oxfam International

WWF International 

Avaaz

Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED)

Germanwatch

Bretton Woods Project

American Jewish World Service 

Leave it in the Ground Initiative (LINGO)

World Benchmarking Alliance

Recourse

Indigenous Environmental Network 

Uplift

Climate Nexus

Stand.earth

Climate Action Network Australia 

Third Act

Friends of the Earth United States

Transport & Environment

Progressive Democrats of America

Zero Hour

Shift: Action For Pension Wealth & Planet Health

CAPPA

Rainforest Action Network

La Ruta del Clima

Parents for Climate Aotearoa

Transformative Wealth Management

Judson Memorial Church

350 Aotearoa

Public Power New Mexico

Mental Health & Inclusion Ministries

√Čquiterre

Pax Christi Toronto

Lebanon Pipeline Awareness

Southwest Organization for Sustainability

Working for Racial Equity

Climate Risk Horizons

Movimiento Ciudadano frente al Cambio Clim√°tico

Human, Environmental and Leadership Prevalent Center (HELP Center) 

Damascus Citizens for Sustainability

Climate Generation 

Physicians for Social Responsibillity, AZchapter

Responsible Decarbonization Alliance (RDA)

Concerned Health Professionals of Pennsylvania

Mindful Money

Hibiscus Coast Zero Waste (The Sustainable North Trust)

self

TIAA-Divest!

Third Act Richmond, VA

People, Energy and Environment Development Association

Our Sacred Earth

New York Progressive Action Network

350 Mass

Environment and Conservation Organisations of New Zealand, ECO 

Resource Renewal Institute

ColorbrightonGreen.org

Milwaukee Riverkeeper

Positive Money UK 

Western Slope Businesses for a Livable Climate

Sustainable CSRA 

Strategic Response on Environmental Conservation (STREC)

350 Yakima Climate Action

Friends of the Earth Spain

Healthy4Purpose

Generation Zero

Long Beach Alliance for Clean Energy

Flackville Fir Farm

Peace, Justice, Sustainability NOW!

Center for a Sustainable Coast

Aotearoa New Zealand Human Rights Foundation

Mayfair Park Neighborhood Association

ClimateVoice, a project of Tides Center

South Durban Community Environmental Aliance

Climate Club

Plastic Pollution Coalition

Third Act North Carolina

350NYC

People for a Healthy Environment

Elmirans and Friends Against Fracking

The Park Church in Elmira

Larimer Alliance for Health, Safety, & Environment

Sierra Club Moshannon Group

Association for Farmers Rights Defense, AFRD

198 methods

New Progressive Alliance

Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania

Peace Movement Aotearoa

Common Ground Rising 

350Juneau–Climate Action for Alaska

DJs For Climate Action

The Climate Center 

Eco Action Families

Bronx Jews for Climate Action

Equidad de Género: Ciudadanía, Trabajo y Familia 

Polar Bears International

Montbello Neighborhood Improvement Association

Youth United for Climate Crisis Action

Kamukunji Paralegal Trust (KAPLET)

Western Environmental Law Center

FIMA NGO

Unite North Metro Denver

Community for Sustainable Energy

Stop Rosebank

Mom Loves Taiwan Association

350 Milwaukee

Climate Defenders

Care About Climate

The Revolving Door Project

Green House Connection Center

Virginia Community Rights Network

Kauai Climate Action Coalition

Naturvernforbundet

Crooked Creek Conservancy Society 

Virginia Citizens Consumer Council

Sostenibilidad Global

SoCal 350 Climate Action

The Last Plastic Straw

Campus Climate Network

Citizens’ Climate Europe

For a Better Bayou

Climate Safe Lending Network 

Climate Action California

Bank Climate Advocates

NEPA Green Coalition

StopPlastics

Latino Outdoors

Vote Climate

SLO Clean Water

350Wenatchee

Save the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Texas Campaign for the Environment

North American Climate, Conservation and Environment(NACCE)

Earth Path Sanctuary

Turtle Island Restoration Network

GLOBAL 2000

Climate Action Merribek

The Victoria Secular Humanist Association

Democratic Socialists of America Southwest Louisiana

Fast For the Climate

SanDiego350

Klimakultur (Norway)

350 Triangle 

Accelerate Neighborhood Climate Action

Berks Gas Truth

Better Path Coalition

No False Solutions (PA)

Earth Neighborhood Productions

Living Oceans Society

Workshop fo All Beings

350 Montreal 

Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments

Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light

Solutions for Our Climate

AbibiNsroma Foundation 

Mountain Lakes Preservation Alliance 

Intertwined faith community

North Range Concerned Citizens

The People’s Justice Council

Bank Information Center

Climate Action Team of First Parish Framingham, MA

Climate Reality Massachusetts Southcoast

350 Bay Area

Peoples Climate Movement – NY

Mind’s Eye Productions

Sustainable Upton

Climate Families NYC

Center for International Environmental Law

North Country Earth Action

Mothers Rise Up

UK Youth Climate Coalition

Creatives for Climate

Canadian Voice of Women for Peace

ClimateFast

Preserve Montgomery County VA

Pro Information Pro Environment United People Network PIPE UP Network 

The Climate Reality Project, Western New York Chapter 

MARBE SA

Interfaith Power & Light 

The Phoenix Group

Azul

Casa Generalizia della Societa del Sacro Cuore

Businesses for a Livable Climate

Colorado Businesses for a Livable Climate

RapidShift Network

Small Business Alliance

New Energy Economy

Climate Justice Saskatoon

Green Education and Legal Fund

350 Silicon Valley

International Marine Mammal Project of Earth Island Institute

Chatham Research Group

FrackBustersNY

Earth Action, Inc. 

Reboot PH

Church Women United in New York State

Foundation for Environmental Management and CampaignAgainst Poverty

Oil and Gas Action Network

System Change Not Climate Change

412Justice

Physicians for Social Responsibility

350 Colorado

Climate Action for Lifelong Learners (CALL)

MarchOnHarrisburg

Native Movement

Centre for Climate Safety

7th Generation Initiative 

350Brooklyn

Fossil Free California

Citizens Alliance for Saving the Atmosphere and the Earth (CASA)

Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines 

Seas at Risk

Baruch Initiative for Transformation 

Fridays For Future Uganda 

Rise to Thrive

Instituto Talanoa

Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance

Cleantech21 Foundation

RootsAction.org

Urgewald

Seventh Generation

Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network 

Conexiones Clim√°ticas

Wall of Women

Peace Action WI

Alaska Community Action on Toxics

Corporate Europe Observatory

350 Eugene

Centre for Social Change

Climate Action Iowa

Littleton Business Alliance

VIVAT International 

Santa Cruz Climate Action Network 

Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative

GreeningUSA

Rapid Transition Alliance

350 Eastside (Seattle)

Indivisible Ambassadors

Quantum Leap

Interstate 70 Citizens Advisory Group

350 New Hampshire Action

Breathe Easy Susquehanna County

Our Kids’ Climate¬†

Brown Grove Preservation Group 

Womxn from the Mountain

Eco-Justice Collaborative of the American Baptist Churches, Rochester-Genesee Region

Greece Baptist Church Sustainability Team

Green 13

350 STL

Climate Hawks Vote

Elders Climate Action

Vessel Project of Louisiana

PRESERVE MONROE

Centre for Citizens Conserving Environment & Management (CECIC)

NY Climate Advocacy Project

Rtse Up WV

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)

350 Pensacola

Mother Earth Project

Buy Local, Grow Local

Ocean Defense Initiative 

Climate Mental Health Network

Animals Are Sentient Beings, Inc.

Jeunes Volontaires pour l’environnement¬†

Spirit of the Sun

Earth Justice Ministries

350Merced

Sunflower Alliance

People’s Coalition for the Right to Water (KRuHA – Indonesia)

MAUSAM (Movement for Advancing Understanding of Sustainability And Mutuality 

350 Tacoma 

Call to Action Colorado

Catholic Network US

Observatório do Clima

Don’t Waste Arizona

Tools For Solidarity

EKOenergy ecolabel

Green World Consulting

Friends of the Earth Malta

Move Past Plastic

Breathe

NGO Forum on ADB

Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community

AnsvarligFremtid

Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter 

Coal Action Network Aotearoa

Cooperative Energy Futures

Klimadelegation e.V.

Climate Crisis Policy

The Earth Bill Network

EcoEquity

Center for Oil and Gas Organizing

Delaware Riverkeeper Network 

Justice Is Global 

Peacemakers of Schoharie County

Los Jardines Institute

People of Asia for Climate Solutions

TEAL Climate

Tikkun Olam Chavurah 

Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS)

350 Sacramento

Interfaith EarthKeepers

Extinction Rebellion San Francisco Bay Area

San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council

Climate Action for Lifelong Learners (CALL)

Labor Network for Sustainability

Milieudefensie

350 Seattle

The Enviro Show

Emergenzaclimatica.it

Campagna Per il Clima Fuori dal Fossile

Climate Action Now (Western Massachusetts)

Concerned Health Professionals of Pennsylvania