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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
The president of COP28, Sultan Al Jaber, who is the CEO of the UAE’s state oil company, hailed it as a historic moment.
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.
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.
However, activists and rights groups say that the number is not nearly enough and that US$400 billion is needed.