COP28 is entering its home stretch in Dubai, with the return of ministers last Saturday, December 9, to try to unblock the negotiations. At the heart of these is the question of fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas), the main culprits of global warming, and the terms in which they will be mentioned in the final agreement.
Yet, a letter is at the center of all the conversations at the end of the summit. It was written by the secretary general of OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. It urgently calls on its members to proactively reject any agreement targeting fossil fuels.
For the president of COP28, Sultan Al-Jaber, “failure is not an option”. On Sunday, December 10, he increased the pressure on the countries meeting at the Dubai conference to resolve their disputes over fossil fuels by Tuesday.
“Failure is not an option. We seek the general interest,” warned Sultan Al-Jaber during a brief press conference, and before bringing together all the ministers in a session called majlis, according to the Emirati tradition, where they will sit in a circle to discuss on an equal footing. equality, according to him. “Everyone must show flexibility,” he also announced. “We must find consensus and a common ground on fossil fuels, including coal,” he said.
“This is the first presidency to have called on all parties to propose common ground and consensus on fossil fuels. It is time for all parties to engage constructively and propose this formulation to me,” Mr. Al-Jaber insisted.
The Spanish Minister for Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, denounced, Saturday December 9, the “repugnant” position of OPEC. “I think it’s a pretty disgusting thing for the OPEC countries to oppose us setting the bar where it should be” on the climate, she declared in Dubai .
“The European Union will align itself with (…) a large majority of parties at this conference to ensure that [is obtained] a significant and productive result on the exit from fossil fuels, the energy transition, while ensuring the “access to energy for all,” Ms. Ribera, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, told several journalists.
Activists challenge OPEC in its pavilion: “We want a total and rapid exit from fossil fuels”
Activists briefly burst into the pavilion of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) at COP28 on Sunday, December 10, to call for an exit from fossil fuels. “We know that OPEC sent a letter to its members asking them to oppose an exit from fossil fuels and we think this is a bad sign,” declared Nicolas Haeringer of the NGO 350.org , while an event was organized at the OPEC pavilion in Dubai, where the climate conference ends on Tuesday.
“For us, having an OPEC pavilion at the COP is like having a huge oil drill in the negotiations,” he denounced. “We want a total, fair and rapid exit from fossil fuels,” the activists then chanted before withdrawing.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimated before this COP28 that energy-related emissions would be around 38 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2030. The voluntary commitments above, If fully implemented, they would reduce these emissions by 4 billion tonnes, or only 30% of what would need to be achieved by 2030 on the road to carbon neutrality in 2050.