‘UAE Consensus’ Marks “Beginning of the End” for Fossil Fuels  

A final text has been agreed at COP28 in response to the Global Stocktake which refers for the first time to ending use of fossil fuels, a day after the conference was due to close. The agreement, dubbed the ‘UAE consensus’ by COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber, calls on parties to the Paris agreement to begin “transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly and equitable manner, accelerating action in this critical decade, so as to achieve net zero by 2050 in keeping with the science.” However, the approved text did not include precise wording to “phase out fossil fuels”. A revised text was approved quickly this morning, after the most recent version was heavily criticised by industrialised nations and small island states for not going far enough in its calls for reducing the global economy’s reliance on fossil fuels.  “Whilst we didn’t turn the page on the fossil fuel era in Dubai, this outcome is the beginning of the end,” said Simon Steill, Executive Secretary, UN Climate Change. “In early 2025, countries must deliver new NDCs. It must bring us into alignment with a 1.5C world. We will keep working to improve the process,” he added. “This is a moment where multilateralism has come together,” said John Kerry, US Climate Change Envoy, but he acknowledged that “many people” would have preferred different wording in the agreed text.

 

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