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COP28 must answer the call for a fossil fuel phase out

By African Media Agency
11 December 2023   |   12:00 pm
Fossil Fuel Phase Out Protest at COP 28 DUBAI, UAE, December 11, 2023 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- As COP28 resumes for a second week, negotiators will be faced with answering the call for a commitment to a Fossil Fuel Phase Out in Dubai. Never before have we heard so many voices, coming from so many directions…
Fossil Fuel Phase Out Protest at COP 28

DUBAI, UAE, December 11, 2023 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- As COP28 resumes for a second week, negotiators will be faced with answering the call for a commitment to a Fossil Fuel Phase Out in Dubai. Never before have we heard so many voices, coming from so many directions to seize the moment and commit to phasing out oil, coal and gas. And never before have alternative formulations on fossil fuel phase out made it this far into a draft text. But there are still no guarantees on a decision on fossil fuels, so all is in play.

Thandile Chinyavanhu, Climate and Energy campaigner, Greenpeace Africa said: “Africa is making promising steps away from the outdated extractive practices of fossil fuel industries which for decades have locked communities in conflict, human suffering, and ecological death. We must encourage further development driven by innovation rooted in pan-Africanism. To achieve this future, we need our leaders to push back against further attempts at neo-colonial plundering of resources on the continent at the expense of Africans.”

Kaisa Kosonen, Head of the Greenpeace COP28 delegation said: “We are here to make fossil fuels history. By now governments know they can’t leave this summit without an agreement to end fossil fuels, in a fast and fair manner. Now the question is what is the package of solutions, support and cooperation that will get us over the finishing line. It’s clear that developed countries are the ones that need to take the lead here.

The solutions are ready – a fast and fair transition to renewable energy is possible – but it won’t happen fast enough unless we push the fossil fuel industry out of the way. And when it comes to money, just look at who made record profits last year – it’s the fossil fuel industry! There’s enough money in the world to deal with this crisis, but it has to be redirected from problems to solutions, so that polluters are made to pay.”

Yuan Ying, China Chief Representative, Greenpeace East Asia said: “COP28 can’t be called a success if there are no renewable energy targets and a full, fast, fair and funded fossil fuel phase-out. After the hottest decade ever, anything less is dropping the ball.

China is the world’s biggest wind and solar producer. And it has the capacity to respond to climate change on par with wealthy countries, while also sharing many of the same concerns as developing countries. This in-between role actually enables China to unlock those entangled negotiations in week two. The China-US Sunnylands statement provides keys for unlocking solutions here, but we still need to see them in action here in Dubai.”

Ghiwa Nakat, Executive Director, Greenpeace MENA, said: “Nobody wins a trophy at half-time, but this COP certainly got off to a strong and hopeful start. The historic

consensus to operationalise the new Loss and Damage Fund could be a real lifesaver for frontline communities if the responsibility of developed countries to lead in resourcing the fund is recognised in the final COP decision.

However, such announcements are not enough if we don’t have a planet to live on. We’ve got to stop fueling more loss and damage. Everything so far has been just a prelude to what we really want to hear – commitment to a just and equitable phaseout of all fossil fuels by mid-century, coupled with key milestones for this critical decade.”

Dr. Camila Jardim, International Politics Specialist, Greenpeace Brasil said: “Brazil arrived at COP28 with important advances in the fight against deforestation and with an interesting proposal for a global financing fund for tropical forests, which escapes the harmful logic of the carbon market. However, the Brazilian government has avoided the most difficult and urgent conversation at this COP: negotiations for a global agreement to eliminate all fossil fuels by 2050, with a significant reduction by 2030. The science is clear: the 1.5º C mission launched by Brazilian diplomacy is completely impossible without an end of fossil fuels.

Brazil needs to stop hiding behind meaningless justifications: no country in the world has the potential that we have in renewable energy, which is the future of global energy geopolitics. We can lead and show the way for other countries, both by demanding financing and technology transfer to developing countries, and by building consensus around the urgency of this agreement and sharing our own experiences and technologies with partners.”

Rolf Skar, National Campaigns Director, Greenpeace USA said: “The US signed on to an agreement on the phase out of fossil fuels at the G7, but here at COP28 they are sitting on the sidelines, apparently content to watch the world burn. The United States is on track to add more than a third of the world’s carbon pollution from new oil and gas production through 2050. They cannot hide behind the smokescreen of a coal phase out while ignoring their biggest problem: massive increases in oil and gas that will plunge our world deeper into climate catastrophe.

“No one is fooled. Americans bearing the brunt of fossil fuel extraction and export – who are disproportionately people of color – need policies that stop treating their communities like sacrifice zones for the oil and gas industry. The international community expects and needs the US to lead by example. There is still time for the US to change course. But no more time at COP28 should be wasted with half-steps and broken promises.”

Hirotaka Koike, Senior Political and External Affairs Officer, Greenpeace East Asia said: “While the world is experiencing the hottest year on record, Japan has been silent on the issue of fossil fuels. As the only country among G7 without a phase out date of coal use, Japan’s silence shows their unwillingness to honor the G7 commitment as a presidency and hide behind other blockers to do the dirty job.

The minister’s arrival should change that if Japan wants to be seen contributing to the global fight to keep 1.5 alive. Japan should take a chance to make it clear that they are on the right side of history by championing a fast, fair, and equitable fossil fuels phase out in the negotiating room.”

Shiva Gounden, Head of Pacific, Greenpeace Australia Pacific said: “AOSIS has been a powerful voice for our Small Island Developing states to keep 1.5℃ alive. They have consistently called on major emitters to address the elephant in the room – fossil fuels. AOSIS has been vocal about the urgent need to phase out all fossil fuels and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, if the world has a fighting chance of nurturing its diversity for our future generations. For our islands, it is a matter of survival. It is not only a technical outcome we are fighting for, but one that is centered on the protection of our lands, oceans and people.”

Maarten de Zeeuw, Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Netherlands said: “The EU has its eyes on the ball, to deliver the fossil fuel phase out that’s urgently needed from this summit. But they’ve still got to get their goals clear for this critical decade. Simply stopping the growth of fossil fuel use this decade isn’t enough, when the actual challenge is to get oil, coal and gas use significantly down already by 2030.

To get the energy package over the finishing line here, the EU needs to ensure support will be delivered for those in need, as opportunities today are not equal. We are calling on the EU and other rich countries to show leadership by committing to ending fossil fuel consumption and production fastest and by stepping up to provide financial support for a fair phase-out in poorer countries.”

Rebecca Newsom, Head of Politics at Greenpeace UK said: “The UK’s status as a leader in these global climate talks seriously hangs in the balance. While wildfires and floods wreak havoc across the world, the Prime Minister’s message to delegates in Dubai was that the UK has already done enough. While his negotiators continue to work hard behind the scenes, they still need to speak up more strongly for a full, fast, fair and funded fossil fuel phaseout, and to stop objecting to text proposals that would move talks forward on the substance of future climate finance obligations for developing countries. With Ministers now arriving, there’s still time for the UK to show real leadership in backing an ambitious – and equitable – outcome to end the fossil fuel age and build resilience in response to growing climate impacts. The public, business, investors and a growing coalition of countries are all calling for it – now is the time to act.”

Pedro Zorrilla Miras, Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Spain said: “In this first week of COP28, the EU has been one of the frontrunner groups for the fossil fuel phase out, the key step needed to keep 1.5ºC alive and avert the worst catastrophic climate change. Spain has been a key country pushing for this, as shown by the statements by the Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and by the Vice-president Teresa Ribera. Nevertheless, if we want to achieve this historical step, Spain needs to increase the ambition by saying no to abatement technologies and by showing a clear commitment for providing sufficient finance support for developing countries for a just fossil fuel phase out.”

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Greenpeace.

Notes: Full Greenpeace Policy Briefing Images can be found in the Greenpeace Media Library.

Contacts: Ferdinand Omondi, fomondi@greenpeace.org, +254 722 505233

Gaby Flores, cflores@greenpeace.org, +1 214 454 3871

Greenpeace International Press Desk: pressdesk.int@greenpeace.org, +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)

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