200 countries agree to drop fossil fuel use at Dubai climate summit

The COP28 UN climate change conference concluded Wednesday in Dubai, resulting in almost 200 countries agreeing to transition away from fossil fuels after two weeks of negotiations.

According to Reuters, the deal "was meant to send a powerful message to investors and policy-makers that the world is united in its desire to break with fossil fuels, something scientists say is the last best hope to stave off climate catastrophe."

While COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber said the deal was "historic," he warned, "We are what we do, not what we say ... We must take the steps necessary to turn this agreement into tangible actions."

"It is the first time that the world unites around such a clear text on the need to transition away from fossil fuels," said Norway's Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.

Over 100 countries pushed for "strong language" to be included in the proposal which was put forth by the COP28 Presidency early Wednesday morning, which called for UN countries to "phase out" oil, gas, and coal use.

However, OPEC, the Saudi Arabia-led oil producer, and its allies protested the proposal and argued emissions could be cut without eliminating certain fuels altogether. 

Nevertheless, the proposal was passed with the largest support coming from small island states.

Other governments, such as the US, Canada, Norway and the EU backed the proposal as well.

"This is a moment where multilateralism has actually come together and people have taken individual interests and attempted to define the common good," said US climate envoy John Kerry.

However the Danish Minister for Climate and Energy Dan Jorgensen shed light on the irony of the deal: "We're standing here in an oil country, surrounded by oil countries, and we made the decision saying let's move away from oil and gas."

Even more, reportedly 80 percent of the world's energy currently comes from oil, gas, and coal.

The deal calls for "transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly and equitable manner ... so as to achieve net zero by 2050 in keeping with the science."

Image: Title: cop28 dubai


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