Climate summit draft decision drops fossil fuel phaseout language, instead calling for reduction

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The latest iteration of negotiating text at this year’s global climate summit has dropped a previous version’s suggestion of a phaseout of fossil fuels.

Instead, the latest draft text, introduced Monday, calls for “reducing” consumption and production of fossil fuels “in a just, orderly and equitable manner.”

A group of 80 countries, including the U.S., small island nations and the European Union, have reportedly called for a “phase out” of fossil fuels. 

But official decisions have to be adopted unanimously by the nearly 200 countries at the COP28 climate summit. News outlets reported last week that the head of a group of oil-producing countries known as OPEC wrote to its members urging them to oppose language that targets fossil fuels. 

In addition to its call to reduce such fuels, the latest text calls for the rapid phasedown of unabated coal — that is, coal whose emissions are prevented through carbon capture technology. It also calls for limiting permitting on new and unabated coal power. 

The text additionally calls for tripling global renewable energy capacity and doubling the average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030.

A previous draft text included several suggestions on fossil fuels that included “a phase out of fossil fuels,” “phasing out unabated fossil fuels” or “no text” on the issue.

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