The global community continues to grapple with the prospect of an agreement to halt new oil and gas projects in anticipation of the upcoming UN climate summit. In the run-up to COP28, commencing on November 30 in the United Arab Emirates, France, Spain, Ireland, Kenya, and 11 other countries have voiced their support for the gradual discontinuation of fossil fuel production.
Financial Times reported that preliminary talks held in Abu Dhabi over the past two days witnessed a coalition of 15 nations, referred to as the High Ambition Coalition, joining a growing faction advocating for a worldwide accord to relinquish oil and gas.
The coalition ministers, including representatives from countries like Ethiopia, Vanuatu, and Samoa, issued a statement highlighting the root of the climate crisis in fossil fuels. They emphasized the necessity for a comprehensive global approach to provide clean energy access and accelerate the shift away from fossil fuels.
The group expressed concern about the misuse of technologies such as carbon capture and storage to hinder climate action. While acknowledging a minor role for such methods in “hard to abate” sectors like steel and cement, they cautioned against their use in power generation.
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has permitted a limited role for carbon removal technology, while major fossil fuel-producing nations, particularly in the Middle East, have lobbied for a more prominent place in global climate policy agreements.
Sultan al-Jaber, president-designate of COP28 and the head of the UAE’s state-owned oil company, has emphasized the need for emission reduction rather than production. However, he also acknowledged the inevitability of phasing out fossil fuels around the middle of the century, without specifying a concrete timeframe.