Dubai, December 2, 2023 – A letter published today by over 320 organizations on six continents rejects “Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter,” the COP28 Presidency’s upcoming flagship announcement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
The Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter is a voluntary pledge coordinated by the COP28 Presidency for oil and gas companies to commit to “take action” to reduce emissions. Instead of committing to reduce burning fossil fuels – the main cause of climate chaos – the companies offer to reduce “operational emissions” that result before oil and gas are burned, ignoring 80-90% of their emissions.
The letter urges the COP28 Presidency to seize the chance to make COP28 historic by:
- Dropping the Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter
- Working with all COP28 negotiators to secure a legally binding comprehensive energy transition package that includes both – a. a full, fair, fast, and funded phase-out of all fossil fuels; and
b. a commitment to tripling the deployment of nature-positive and community-beneficial renewables and doubling energy efficiency capacity.
This year, the IEA reiterated its finding that any new oil, gas and coal expansion is incompatible with keeping warming below 1.5°C.
The only way to achieve the ambition of the Paris Agreement is to substantially reduce the extraction and consumption of fossil fuels, starting now.
Despite this, fossil fuel companies and their enablers – including some governments – appear to be ignoring 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.
Note to Editor: The “Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter” has also been referenced as the “Global Decarbonization Accelerator”, the “Oil and Gas Charter”, and the “Global Decarbonization Alliance”.
David Tong, Global Industry Campaign Manager, Oil Change International, said:
“The Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter is a dangerous distraction from the COP28 process. We need legal agreements, not voluntary pledges. The science is clear: staying under 1.5ºC global warming requires a full, fast, fair, and funded phase out of fossil fuels, starting now.”
Cansin Leylim Ilgaz, Associate Director of Global Campaigns, 350.org, said:
“We don’t have time to waste with more pledges and initiatives with fancy names. In order to shift the billions of dollars going to fossil fuels to renewable energy, and achieve an ambitious renewable energy target globally, we need a fast, fair, and equitable fossil fuel phase out that does not rely on dangerous distractions. COP28 must ensure we take the steps to ensure our collective future is one of shared prosperity by massively scaling up public finance for a just transition. “
Katrin Ganswindt, Head of Finance Research at Urgewald, said:
“Urgewald’s latest update of the Global Oil & Gas Exit List demonstrates that the industry remains on an expansion course. Over 1,600 companies around the world will seemingly stop at nothing in their pursuit of profit at the expense of people and planet. The COP28 Presidency must clearly see that this industry will never transition voluntarily. Without an unequivocal and rapid fossil fuel phase-out, the chance for a 1.5°C world will be irredeemably lost.”
Tom BK Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network, said:
“Indigenous Peoples from the South and North see the reality of the devastation of a changing climate causing death and destruction in our homelands with the contradictions of the expansion of fossil fuel mining, production and webs of pipelines and ocean tankers all resulting in compounding acts of aggression and violence against the sacredness of Mother Earth and our women and children. The era of fossil fuel colonialism must stop now. Voluntary efforts are insufficient and a distraction for a rapid just transition for a binding global phaseout of fossil fuels and all extraction and production at source.”
Bill McKibben, Third Act, said:
“This isn’t hard. If your company digs stuff up and burns it, you’re the problem. It’s time to wind down your business. Past time.”