At COP 28, Nations Reach Historic Agreement To End Reliance On Fossil Fuels
DUBAI, UAE -- Representatives from nearly 200 countries struck a deal at the COP28 climate summit on Wednesday to start reducing global consumption of fossil fuels to avoid the worst consequences of climate change -- envisaging the eventual end of the oil economy
After two weeks of hard-fought negotiations, the Dubai agreement sends an unmistakable message to political and business leaders that the world must quickly phase out fossil fuels, the planet's only hope to prevent a worldwide climate catastrophe.
COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber called the deal "historic" but added that its true success would be in its implementation.
"We are what we do, not what we say," he said. "We must take the steps necessary to turn this agreement into tangible actions."
“Humanity has finally done what is long, long, long overdue,” said the European Union’s climate commissioner, Wopke Hoekstra. “Thirty years we’ve spent to arrive at the beginning of the end of fossil fuels.”
While more than 100 countries had pushed for an agreement to "phase out" oil, gas and coal use, they encountered opposition from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the Saudi Arabia-led oil-producing bloc, which insisted that the world can slash emissions without shunning fossil fuels.
That debate pushed the summit past its deadline, causing some delegate and observers to worry that the negotiations would end without an agreement.
"This is a moment where multilateralism has actually come together and people have taken individual interests and attempted to define the common good," said U.S. climate envoy and former Secretary of State John Kerry. The Danish minister for climate and energy Dan Jorgensen, who was seen embracing Kerry after the deal was approved, exulted: "We're standing here in an oil country, surrounded by oil countries, and we made the decision saying let's move away from oil and gas."