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COP28: historic deal agreed for world to ‘transition away’ from fossil fuels

The summit stretched into prolonged negotiations over the terminology of the final text, after the “phase out” of fossil fuels was omitted from the draft a day before the scheduled end of the event.
COP28 conclusion

The United Nations' COP28 summit reached a landmark agreement on Wednesday morning that supporters said marked the first time countries have been truly pushed to move away from fossil fuels to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.

The 12-day Conference of Parties summit in Dubai had overrun, as it often does, into 11th-hour negotiations after the phrase “phase out” of fossil fuels was omitted from the draft a day before the end of the conference. The United States, European Union and United Kingdom as well as many small island states threatened by rising sea levels, were part of the more than 100 countries pushing for a complete phase out of fossil fuels. However, countries with vast oil reserves, such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Uganda were against the term “phase out” being included in the final text.

Instead, the text, agreed on by nearly 200 countries, called for a transition away from fossil fuels before 2030 based on the global stocktake, a sobering UN report released in September indicating that the world is not on track to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels to avoid a climate catastrophe. The new agreement marks the first time in the history of any COP climate summit text that the transition from fossil fuels — which the UN says contribute to around 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions — has been acknowledged.

The text demanded that nearly 200 countries transition “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.”

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