Almost

In A First, Countries Have Agreed To Transition Away From Fossil Fuels To Fight Climate Change

This is the first agreement in COP’s history to explicitly state it is necessary to shift away from fossil fuels but does not call for “phasing out”, which more than 100 countries had been calling for.

For the first time, countries have agreed to transition away from fossil fuels to fight climate change.

Climate activists raise placards during a protest against fossil fuels cop28 uae
Climate activists raise placards during a protest against fossil fuels during the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP28 in Dubai. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)

The agreement was announced on Wednesday Dec. 13 at the end of COP28, the UN’s annual climate change conference, in Dubai, UAE, after 2 weeks of negotiations between nearly 200 countries.

COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber
COP28 President His Excellency Dr. Sultan Al Jaber during opening press conference of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto)

This is the first agreement in COP’s history to explicitly state that it is necessary to shift away from fossil fuels, thus recognizing their role as drivers in the climate crisis.

Licypriya Kangujam force herself-onto the stage in a protest against fossil fuels cop28
A young activist of American indigenous origins, Licypriya Kangujam force herself onto the stage in a protest against fossil fuels extraction during the Global Climate Action. (Photo by Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto)

It calls for countries to “transition away” from fossil fuels in a “just, orderly and equitable” manner this decade to reach net zero by 2050.

Participants stage a protest calling to phase out fossil fuels during the COP2
Participants stage a protest calling to phase out fossil fuels during the COP28, UN Climate Change Conference, held by UNFCCC in Dubai Exhibition Center, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto)

However, the agreement was a last minute compromise that does not call for “phasing out” fossil fuels, which means stopping the use of coal, gas and oil.

Loss and Damage cop28 uae
Activists in anime character costumes lift placards and chant slogans calling on the world’s biggest CO2 emitters to fill the ‘Loss and Damage’ fund supporting the adaptation and development of countries most vulnerable to climate change, at the COP28 United Nations climate talks in Dubai. (Photo by KARIM SAHIB / AFP)

More than 100 countries, from small island countries – which are the most hard hit by the effects of the climate crisis – to Western superpowers including the US, UK and the EU, had all been fighting for the stronger phrase of “phase out”.

COP28 Climate Conference at Expo City Dubai
Activists protest on day eight of the UNFCCC COP28 Climate Conference at Expo City Dubai. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

The president of COP28, Sultan Al Jaber, who is the CEO of the UAE’s state oil company, hailed it as a historic moment.

John Kerry US Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber COP28
John Kerry (L), U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, and Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, President of the COP28 UNFCCC Climate Conference, speak with one another at a session between the U.S., China, UAE and Nigeria on the global need to reduce methane emissions. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Al Jaber has been caught in a controversy after leaked documents revealed he was planning to use hosting COP28 to make oil deals and said that there was “no science” behind phasing out fossil fuels.

demonstration at the venue of the COP28 United Nations climate summit
Environmental activists display placards during a demonstration at the venue of the COP28 United Nations climate summit in Dubai. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)

At the conference, countries also committed US$700 million to the “loss and damage” fund that helps pay for climate change damages in poor countries.

UNFCCC COP28 Climate Conference uae
An indigenous woman from South America holds up a sign reading “Support Indigenous Climate Finance” during a small protest on day six of the UNFCCC COP28 Climate Conference at Expo City Dubai. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

However, activists and rights groups say that the number is not nearly enough and that US$400 billion is needed.

Activists protest against fossil fuels on the sidelines of the COP28
Activists protest against fossil fuels on the sidelines of the COP28 United Nations climate summit in Dubai. (Photo by Karim SAHIB / AFP)

More On Climate Change

Subscribe To The Almost Newsletter For More

TRENDING