4th draft text on global stocktake deletes references to phasing out fossil fuels | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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4th draft text on global stocktake deletes references to phasing out fossil fuels

ByJayashree Nandi
Dec 11, 2023 08:15 PM IST

The text instead calls on parties to take actions that could include, reducing both consumption and production of fossil fuels, in a just, orderly and equitable manner

Dubai: A new draft text by the Presidency on the First global stocktake under the Paris Agreement landed on Monday evening without any reference to phasing out fossil fuels, a highly debated issue so far.

Activists protest against the use of fossil fuels at the COP28 UN Climate Summit, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Sunday. (AP)
Activists protest against the use of fossil fuels at the COP28 UN Climate Summit, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Sunday. (AP)

The text instead calls on parties to take actions that could include, reducing both consumption and production of fossil fuels, in a just, orderly and equitable manner so as to achieve net zero by, before, or around 2050 in keeping with the science.

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Among other calls to action on mitigation is tripling renewable energy capacity globally and doubling the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030; rapidly phasing down unabated coal and limitations on permitting new and unabated coal power generation; accelerating efforts globally towards net zero emissions energy systems, utilising zero and low carbon fuels well before or by around mid-century; accelerating zero and low emissions technologies, including, inter alia, renewables, nuclear, abatement and removal technologies, including such as carbon capture and utiliation and storage, and low carbon hydrogen production, so as to enhance efforts towards substitution of unabated fossil fuels in energy systems, the text states.

The text has deleted all options on phasing out fossil fuels. The third draft text which came out on December 8 had five options on phasing out of fossil fuels, which included, a phase out of fossil fuels in line with best available science; two, the IPCC’s 1.5 pathways and the principles and provisions of the Paris Agreement; three, a phase-out of unabated fossil fuels recognising the need for a peak in their consumption in this decade and underlining the importance for the energy sector to be predominantly free of fossil fuels well ahead of 2050; four, phasing out unabated fossil fuels and to rapidly reducing their use so as to achieve net-zero CO2 in energy systems by or around mid-century; there was no text for the fifth option.

“There is no text on fossil fuel phaseout. So what we are seeing is a watered down menu of compromises. We have strong language on abatement technology as if its at the same level as renewable energy and energy efficiency,” said Catherine Abreu is a Senior Associate at E3G working on international climate policy.

The hoCOP28 Presidencywever continued to say the text reflected ambition. “The Presidency has been clear from the beginning about our ambitions. This text reflects those ambitions and is a huge step forward. Now it is in the hands of the Parties, who we trust to do what is best for humanity and the planet,” said a COP28 spokesperson

HT reported on Monday that the gulf between developed and developing country blocs in how to chart the future of climate action came sharply into view on Sunday, with divisions now appearing to cast a shadow on even some foundational principles the world agreed on in the past, such as the notion that those who historically spewed more carbon emissions take a larger share of responsibility.

Also Read: UN chief to world leaders at COP28: Agree on emissions cut, please

“We are now here to discuss two issues. One - How high is our ambition on mitigation. And two - Are we willing to back this transition with the proper means of support to deliver it. Let me assure you – from our viewpoint at UN Climate Change – the highest levels of ambition are possible for both,” said , executive secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).Simon Stiell

“I repeat – the highest levels of ambition are possible on both. But if we reduce on one, we reduce our ability to get either. So that leaves us with the question: how do we get, from here, a meaningful deal? First - clear the unnecessary tactical blockades out of the way. And there have been many along this journey. The Global Stocktake needs to help all countries get out of this mess. Any strategic landmines that blow it up for one, blow it up for all,” Stiell said.

“The world is watching, as are 4000 members of the global media, and thousands of observers here in Dubai. There is nowhere to hide,” Stiell added on Monday morning.

Observers said rich nations led by the US had attempted to dilute provisions on finance which also leads to dilution of strong ambition to mitigate climate change.

“They don’t want any references to equity or common but differentiated responsibility in the text. On finance, across all aspects of negotiations including on the global goal on adaptation text, global stocktake they are diluting finance. They don’t want to talk about scaling up, they don’t wish to talk about predictable resources. All they keep saying is that we commit and we have to shift it to the private sector. There is no meaning to lofty targets,” said Meena Raman, head of programmes at Third World Network.

“We are anticipating that United States might be posturing itself to be supporting a fossil fuel phaseout but we want to be blunt and call it what it is. It is bluff. US is the world’s largest producer of oil and gas. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is completely dwarfed from the projections of fossil fuel emissions from oil and gas projects. This administration has already approved more permits for fossil fuel projects than its infamous predecessor. If US states it wants a fossil fuel phase out we need to see what its actions are telling us,” Rachel Rose Jackson, a research director at Corporate Accountability

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