COP28 breakthrough marks the end of the fossil fuel era


The World Climate Summit (COP28) ended with a breakthrough towards phasing out oil, coal and gas in energy systems today with the result cautiously welcomed by Green MEPs.

The MEPs commented that the presidency of the United Arab Emirates threatened to gamble away the trust it had built up by setting up the Loss and Damage Fund at the start of the conference as a first draft of the final document failed to include the demand for a phase-out of fossil fuels. However, following an international outcry, the negotiations and negotiators now call for the first time in history for transitioning away from fossil fuels in the final outcome document and made a clear commitment to the 1.5 degree target..

Grace O’Sullivan, MEP for Ireland South and Member of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee, comments:

“While the World Climate Summit marks the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era, it is clear we are not yet going far enough to put out the wildfire of climate change that is ravaging the planet. For the first time ever, the world commits to exit from oil, gas and coal with a clear commitment to reach the target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degree. However, the future credibility of these summits has been seriously damaged by the presence and influence of petrostates and the fossil fuels lobby. I was disappointed to see the next COP will be held in Azerbaijan, yet another country with direct interests in keeping the gas taps on and little interest in human rights.”

Ciarán Cuffe, MEP for Dublin said:

“For the first time in three decades, text on fossil fuels has made it into the final COP agreement. I would have much preferred to call for a fossil phase-out, but the unanimous agreement of nearly 200 countries to move away from fossil fuels is historic. The publication of the full list of COP28 participants by this year’s host is also a welcome decision for transparency. Further action must follow to remove the influence of vested interests, including major fossil fuel producers, over these negotiations. Now as we face the end of the fossil era, Europe can and must show the way forward. That includes setting an ambitious target next year to transition to a fully-renewables based European economy by 2040. I hope that Ireland will support this, and build on our instrumental role in the COP28 negotiations to exercise greater influence over climate talks in Europe.”

December 13, 2023

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