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French minister ‘angry’ after OPEC push at COP28

By AFP
09 December 2023   |   10:13 am
French Energy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said Saturday she was "stunned" after the oil cartel OPEC urged its members to thwart any deal targeting fossil fuels at the COP28 conference.

French Minister for Energy Transition Agnes Pannier-Runacher leaves after the weekly cabinet meeting at the presidential Elysee Palace in Paris, on December 6, 2023. (Photo by Geoffroy Van der Hasselt / AFP)

French Energy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said Saturday she was “stunned” after the oil cartel OPEC urged its members to thwart any deal targeting fossil fuels at the COP28 conference.

“I am stunned by these statements from OPEC. And I am angry,” she said from the climate conference in Dubai, adding that “OPEC’s position endangers the most vulnerable countries and the poorest populations who are the first victims of this situation”.

The minister said she was “counting on the presidency of the COP not to be influenced by these declarations, and to reach an agreement which affirms a clear objective of phasing out fossil fuels”.

OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais sent a letter to the group’s 13 members and 10 Russian-led allies this week after negotiators at talks in Dubai released a draft deal that included calls for a phase-out of fossil fuels.

In the letter sent Wednesday, Ghais urges the group to “proactively reject any text or formula that targets energy i.e. fossil fuels rather than emissions”.

The letter has drawn anger from activists and the High Ambition Coalition, a broad group of nations ranging from Barbados to France, Kenya and Pacific island states.

Spain’s ecology transition minister Teresa Ribera called the move “disgusting”.

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