The 28th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – COP28 – reflects a challenge and an opportunity for the global community. The need for binding commitments to phase out all fossil fuels is more urgent than ever.
All countries must transition to highly efficient renewable energy systems based on solar and wind, while moving away from all oil, gas, and coal. We need a sustained emergency effort to drive the transition forward at the greatest possible speed while respecting and protecting human rights – especially for those on the front and fence lines.
EXPECTATIONS FOR COP28
Heading into COP28, there is an unprecedented level of consensus being expressed by global governments, and shouted from every corner of civil society, that an accelerated just transition away from fossil fuel production and use is essential to have any hope of delivering on the promises of the Paris Agreement to limit warming to 1.5°C.
Governments must do everything within their power to take bolder action to limit dangerous global temperature below 1.5°C . They must:
- STOP all new oil & gas production and infrastructure projects
- PHASE OUT all fossil fuels: establish clear end dates for all fossil fuel production, ensuring a fast, fair and equitable transition
- DOUBLE the pace of energy efficiency by 2030 (from 2020 levels)
- TRIPLE renewable energy capacity by 2030: by deploying at least 1,500 GW of new renewable energy capacity each year by 2030 and beyond.
- DELIVER TRILLIONS of dollars of sustainable financing for rapid, just and equitable transition to 100% RE systems and adaptation in developing countries.
KEY FACTS AND CONTEXT
2023 will be the hottest year on record. Billion dollar disasters happen with increasing frequency. People in every corner of the globe already feel the effects of the climate crisis.
Fossil fuels are responsible for this climate chaos. Almost half (42%) of climate-change causing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over the last 125 years have occurred since 1990, when climate negotiations at the UN began. 30 years of climate negotiations have shown us the results of talking about the climate crisis without talking about the cause of the climate crisis – the production and combustion of fossil fuels.
Fossil fuels endanger people directly every day, from the devastating repercussions for public and environmental health from toxic pollution to economic and political instability stemming from their vulnerability to market shocks and manipulation.
And yet: A transition is already underway. Fossil fuel demand is projected to peak this decade; all growth in energy supply came from renewable energy. The fossil fuel industry is facing huge stranded asset risks, having wasted $3.6 trillion to build out fossil fuel infrastructure above the requirements of net zero.
⇨ READ: COP28 CONTEXT AND EXPECTATIONS ⇦
The fossil fuel industry is lobbying hard to champion the idea that fossil fuels can be “abated” – that they can continue to burn coal, oil and gas as long as their emissions are prevented from entering the atmosphere. Science dictates that we need a fossil fuel phaseout to have a livable planet. The push to insert language limiting phaseout requirements to “unabated” fossil fuels is a distraction.
⇨ READ: DANGEROUS DISTRACTIONS AT COP28 ⇦
Fossil fuel energy systems run on an endless need to extract and secure supplies of fuel inputs, while renewable energy systems only need to be built and generate infinite energy from the sun and wind. Energy security is largely a fossil fuels problem, and renewables are the solution.
⇨ READ: ENERGY SECURITY AT COP28 ⇦
National Oil Companies
National Oil Companies (NOCs) across the globe together produce 55% of the world’s oil and gas, control two-thirds of global reserves, and fund about 40% of the industry’s investment. Not only are they the major players in driving the fossil fuel expansions, NOCs play significant roles in their host countries’ economy and fiscal stability, and their delayed just transition could threaten economic crises in already climate-impacted and economically strained countries.
⇨ READ: NATIONAL OIL COMPANIES AT COP28 ⇦
Fossil Fuel Phaseout Momentum in 2023
⇨ READ: 2023 MOMENTUM ON PHASEOUT ⇦
Dozens of experts from Global Gas and Oil Network member organizations will be at COP28 and available to comment on the state of fossil fuels and the phaseout imperative as negotiations progress. Please contact Gabrielle Levy, email@example.com, to be connected to our experts.
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