World New draft of Cop28 deal calls for 'transitioning away'...

New draft of Cop28 deal calls for 'transitioning away' from fossil fuels

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It also calls for a tripling of renewable energy capacity globally by 2030, speeding up efforts to reduce coal, and accelerating technologies such as carbon capture and storage that can clean up hard-to-decarbonise industries.

If adopted, it would mark the first time in three decades of Cop climate summits that nations have agreed on a concerted move away from oil, gas and coal, which account for 80 per cent of global energy. Scientists say fossil fuels are by far the largest source of the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change.

“The latest Global Stocktake text sends a strong signal that world leaders recognize that a sharp turn away from fossil fuels … is essential to meet our climate goals,” said Rachel Cleetus, policy director at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

She noted, however, that the proposal does not commit rich countries to offer more financing to help developing countries transition away from fossil fuels.

“The finance and equity provisions… are seriously insufficient and must be improved in the time ahead in order to ensure low- and middle-income countries can transition to clean energy and close the energy poverty gap,” she said.

OPEC opposition

It was not immediately clear whether the proposed deal would win enough support to be adopted.

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais said in a letter dated Dec. 6 to OPEC members and allies at Cop28 that the world should target emissions rather than fossil fuels themselves, rallying them to oppose any deal targeting oil.

OPEC countries together control nearly 80 per cent of the world’s proven oil reserves along with about a third of global oil production, and their governments rely heavily on the revenues.

Oil producers have argued that fossil fuels can be cleansed of their climate impact by using technology that can capture and store carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon capture, however, is expensive and has yet to be proven at scale.

Negotiators and observers in the Cop28 talks told Reuters that although Saudi Arabia has been the strongest opponent of anti-fossil fuel language in the text, other OPEC and OPEC+ members, including Iran, Iraq and Russia, have also resisted.

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