Draft Text at COP28 Shows Negotiators Cconsidering Fossil Fuel ‘Phase Out’

REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
Head of Strategy, Energy Transition of the Office of the UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change, Abdulla Malek addresses the panellists at the opening ceremony for Energy Day during the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates December 5, 2023.

DUBAI(Reuters) ― A second draft of what could be the final agreement from the COP28 U.N. climate summit shows negotiators are considering calling for an “orderly and just” phase out of fossil fuels.

The draft text was published by the U.N. climate body and shows the possible outcomes for talks at the COP28 summit in Dubai. The negotiations are part of the “global stocktake” process, in which nearly 200 nations are trying to agree on plans to curb rising global temperatures.

The first option in the draft text was listed as “an orderly and just phase out of fossil fuels.” The second called for “accelerating efforts towards phasing out unabated fossil fuels.”

The third option would be no mention of a fossil fuel phase out.

The draft text also included an option for countries to agree to a “rapid phase out of unabated coal power this decade” and an immediate halt to building new CO2-emitting coal power plants.

However, a second option for the same paragraph would not mention phasing out coal at all.

An “unabated” power plant is one that does not capture the plant’s CO2 emissions before they hit the atmosphere. The vast majority of the world’s power plants are unabated.