Criticism for COP28 Draft Deal for Omitting Call to Phase out Fossil Fuels, Climate Crisis News Reports


Countries rich in oil have resisted proposed language that emphasizes the need to transition away from fossil fuels. At the COP28 climate talks, a draft agreement fell short of urging nations to gradually phase out the use of fossil fuels, which are the main cause of climate change and the extreme weather seen worldwide.
Released on Monday, the draft received criticism from those who claim that oil-producing nations have influenced it to weaken the language on the elimination of fossil fuels. The President of COP28, Sultan al-Jaber, urged the summit to strive for the highest ambition, including the language on fossil fuels, before the conference concludes on Tuesday.
Over 100 out of the nearly 200 attending countries at the UN climate talks have called for the phase-out of fossil fuels, but nations such as Saudi Arabia and Iran have staunchly opposed this language.
Reuters reported that the United Arab Emirates, the host of the summit, faced pressure from Saudi Arabia to remove any mention of fossil fuels from the conference agreement, according to unnamed sources familiar with the discussions.
The draft released on Monday removes an earlier call to “phase out” all fossil fuels and instead offers eight options that countries “could” consider to reduce emissions.
Criticism of the conference’s ties to fossil fuel interests began early on, especially when al-Jaber, a head of a state oil company, was named to lead the climate negotiations. Al-Jaber also faced backlash after a video surfaced in which he appears to challenge some of the science behind climate change.
As the conference comes to a close, the US and German governments have expressed dissatisfaction with the draft’s language on fossil fuels. Some climate advocates have been even more critical, with one claiming that if the current draft becomes the final agreement, the crucial COP will be a failure.
Smaller island nations, who will suffer disproportionately from the effects of climate change, have also condemned the draft agreement, calling it a death warrant and vowing not to go quietly to their watery graves.


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