EU countries set to agree push on fossil fuel phase-out


EU countries set to agree push on fossil fuel phase-out


European Union countries are ready to approve a diplomatic statement on Monday calling for a global phase-out of fossil fuels, as they prepare for this year’s COP28, a draft document revealed.

The EU conclusions on climate diplomacy, which member nations' foreign ministers seek to ratify at a meeting on Monday, aim to solidify the bloc's priorities ahead of COP28, the United Nations climate summit that begins Nov. 30 in Dubai.

A draft of the conclusions acknowledged nearly 200 countries' pledge made at previous U.N climate talks to phase down coal-fired electricity, but said this must go further, to phase out all CO2-emitting fossil fuels, including oil and gas.

"The shift towards a climate neutral economy will require the global phase-out of unabated fossil fuels, as defined by the IPCC," the draft said, referring to the U.N. climate science panel.

To prevent the most severe effects of climate change, IPCC scientists have said that the world must significantly reduce its usage of fossil fuel energy this decade.

"The EU will systematically promote and call for a global move towards energy systems free of unabated fossil fuels well ahead of 2050," the draft document stated.

Last year's COP27 disappointed some countries for not reaching a consensus on phasing down fossil fuel energy, which was proposed by India. While the proposal had gained support from more than 80 governments, including EU countries, it was opposed by Saudi Arabia and other oil- and gas-rich countries.

The current EU draft includes stronger wording than a previous version, which had not specifically approved a “phase-out." According to EU ambassadors, Germany and Denmark had pushed for more aggressive expression.

The proposal is still being debated, however, and some diplomats said it could be postponed beyond next week because certain countries are unhappy with other aspects of the agreement, which includes supporting renewable energy and EU plans to cut dependence on Russian gas.









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