A landmark deal to move away from fossil fuels has been agreed by the world’s governments at the closing of the COP28 climate summit in Dubai.
The deal is not legally-binding, but calls on all countries to move away from the use of fossil fuels, for the first time in almost 30 years of COP climate summits.
The consensus was reached after talks lasted well into the night.
The draft text did not mention “phasing out” fossil fuels, which prompted the US, UK and the UN collective to push for stronger wording. In the end, “transition away” was chosen.
“Together we have confronted the realities and sent the world in the right direction,” said the summit’s president, Sultan Al Jaber, who’s also chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.
“An agreement is only as good as its implementation, we are what we do, not what we say.
“We must take the steps necessary to turn this agreement into tangible actions.”
“The penny has dropped at COP28,” said Environmental Audit Committee Chair, Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP.
“While it’s disappointing there was no agreement to phase out fossil fuels, the final agreement recognises that the days of oil, gas and coal powering global economies are numbered.”
Amidst the glad-handing and diplomatic congratulations of the day, the target is voluntary and can quite easily be ignored.
After a pledge to phase down coal in Glasgow’s COP26, global consumption and production has continued to rise.
As fossil fuel consumption has continued to grow, scientists have warned the world remains very unlikely to limit warming to the Paris Agreement’s target of 1.5 degrees.
Gareth Redmond-King, head of international programme at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said: “All COPs have ups and downs during the process, good and bad in the outcome.
“The job is to raise ambition, increase momentum, and keep 1.5 degree target alive. But this is the first COP outcome to reflect the need to get off fossil fuels in its text.”