In a heated session at the COP28 summit in Dubai, countries clashed over the inclusion of a commitment to phase out fossil fuels, putting at risk the possibility of a historic agreement to end the use of oil and gas in the next 30 years of global warming talks.
Notably, Saudi Arabia and Russia, along with several other nations, insisted on focusing solely on reducing climate pollution rather than explicitly targeting the fossil fuels responsible for it, according to insiders at the negotiations.
On the opposing side, a coalition of over 80 countries, including major players such as the United States and the European Union, as well as numerous climate-vulnerable nations, advocated for a COP28 deal that unequivocally calls for the eventual cessation of fossil fuel usage.
COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber urged nations to expedite their efforts in reaching a final agreement, highlighting that there were still more areas of disagreement than consensus. Expressing a sense of urgency, he emphasized that the window to bridge the gaps was closing. The summit’s outcome hangs in the balance as the international community grapples with the critical decision of whether to commit to a phased withdrawal from fossil fuels or maintain a narrower focus on reducing overall climate pollution.