Title: Global Resistance to Fossil Fuel Phase-Out Threatens COP28 Climate Deal
As the contentious COP28 climate summit reaches its final stages, several countries are resisting a proposed pledge to phase out fossil fuels, casting a shadow over the possibility of a comprehensive agreement. Among the dissenting nations are Saudi Arabia and Russia, both pushing for the summit’s focus to be on reducing climate pollution without explicitly mentioning the need to curb fossil fuel usage.
Highlighting this resistance, OPEC recently sent a letter urging its members and allies to reject any mention of fossil fuels in the final summit deal. However, despite the opposition, around 80 countries are demanding that the COP28 agreement includes a commitment to ultimately end the use of fossil fuels.
Saudi Arabia and Russia have relied on carbon capture technology as an alternative, but the U.N. climate science panel has stated that this technology cannot fully replace the reduction of fossil fuel use. The disagreement over fossil fuels has added to the tensions at the summit, with diplomatic grievances such as those surrounding Ukraine and Taiwan emerging as additional hurdles.
As government ministers representing almost 200 nations work towards resolving the impasse on fossil fuels, climate-vulnerable countries have issued a warning. They emphasize that rejecting any mention of fossil fuels in the COP28 agreement would pose a grave threat to the entire world.
The latest negotiating text reveals that countries are considering various options, ranging from a “phase out of fossil fuels in line with the best available science” to a complete omission of the subject. Germany’s climate envoy has expressed concern about the slow pace of negotiations and the lack of constructive engagement from all participating countries.
Adding complexity to the negotiations, the United Arab Emirates, as the president of the summit, is advocating for an ambitious deal aimed at limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. While this goal aligns with the demands of climate-vulnerable nations, the resistance to phasing out fossil fuels poses a significant obstacle to achieving it.
The outcome of the COP28 summit hangs in the balance as the push and pull between nations continue. With a minimum word count, it remains pertinent to raise awareness of the diverging opinions and the potential ramifications for tackling the pressing issue of climate change.
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