//Skip to content
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

COP28 Ends with Historic Agreement to Transition Away from Fossil Fuels

December 13, 2023
COP 28 – Photo credit: Wikipedia.

The United Nations’ Climate Change Conference COP28 has concluded with the ‘United Arab Emirates Consensus’, the first agreement to mention fossil fuels in the three-decade history of climate negotiations.

COP28 President Sultan Al-Jaber announced the agreement on Wednesday in the closing ceremony of the two-week summit, which took place in Dubai’s Expo City.

“The world needed to find a new way,” he said, celebrating the deal that signals the eventual end of global economies’ reliance on oil amid a standing ovation.

The agreement calls on signatory parties to take measures of “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”.

It also calls for “tripling renewable energy capacity globally and doubling the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030”.

Negotiations went into overtime in the early hours of Wednesday morning, with the closing panel being pushed for a day.

“To those who opposed a clear reference to phase out of fossil fuels during the Climate Conference, I want to say: Whether you like it or not, fossil fuel phase out is inevitable. Let’s hope it doesn’t come too late,” Secretary-General of the UN António Guterres on Twitter (now X).

Several countries, including Saudi Arabia and Iraq, had attempted to remove the mention of fossil fuels from the agreement text throughout the negotiations.

An earlier draft text of the agreement that appeared in the second week of the summit had included the stricter language of options to “phase out” or “phase down” fossil fuels.

While climate activists welcomed the COP28 agreement as a needed improvement, they decried “loopholes” in the final agreement.

“After decades of evasion, COP28 finally cast a glaring spotlight on the real culprits of the climate crisis: fossil fuels. A long-overdue direction to move away from coal, oil, and gas has been set. Yet, the resolution is marred by loopholes that offer the fossil fuel industry numerous escape routes, relying on unproven, unsafe technologies,” said Harjeet Singh, Head of Global Political Strategy for Climate Action Network International.

Head of the Greenpeace International Delegation Kaisa Kosonen, said that “This isn’t yet the decision that the world needs or deserves but there are some improvements in the call to transition away from fossil fuels. The signal that the fossil industry has been afraid of is here: ending the fossil fuel era, along with a call to massively scale up renewables and efficiency this decade, but it’s buried under many distractions and without sufficient means to achieve it in a fair and fast manner”.

Comment (1)