COP28 Draft Text Sets New Options on Fossil Fuel Phase Out

By William James and Elizabeth Piper
Friday, December 8, 2023

The U.N. climate agency published a new draft of its COP28 agreement on Friday which included a range of options for the future of fossil fuel use, the most contentious issue at the summit.

Over the next few days countries are expected to focus on the issue in hopes of reaching a consensus before the summit's scheduled end on Dec. 12.

The options included in the text, which is still under negotiation, were for the final deal to call upon countries to "take further action in this critical decade towards":

  • "A phase out of fossil fuels in line with best available science"
  • "Phasing out of fossil fuels in line with best available science, the IPCC's 1.5 pathways and the principles and provisions of the Paris Agreement"
  • "A phase-out of unabated fossil fuels recognizing the need for a peak in their consumption in this decade and underlining the importance for the energy sector to be predominantly free of fossil fuels well ahead of 2050"
  • "Phasing out unabated fossil fuels and to rapidly reducing their use so as to achieve net-zero CO2 in energy systems by or around mid-century"
  • No language on the future use of fossil fuels.

The document also set out an option for a "rapid phase out of unabated coal power this decade and an immediate cessation of the permitting of new unabated coal power generation". The other option for this paragraph was to include no text on the issue.

Elsewhere the draft offers an option to call either for "the phase out of fossil fuel subsidies that do not address energy poverty or just transition", or to include no text on the issue.

(Reuters - Reporting by William James and Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Katy Daigle)

Categories: Energy Regulations Decarbonization

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