Governments are considering a plan to “reduce” consumption and production of fossil fuels, according to a first version of the COP28 draft text.
In the United Nations negotiations, the word “reducing” is used rather than previously proposed words saying “phase out”.
But the language could frighten OPEC countries, as both their production of fossil fuels and the demand from their consumers would both have to fall.
The language will disappoint vulnerable island nations who want a firm “phase out” with dates attached, as rising sea levels driven by climate change eat away at their shores.
The text suggests countries:
(a) Triple renewable energy capacity globally and double the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030;
“(b) Rapidly phase down unabated coal and limitations on permitting new and unabated coal power generation;
“(c) Accelerate efforts globally towards net zero emissions energy systems, utilizing zero and low carbon fuels well before or by around mid-century;
“(d) Accelerate zero and low emissions technologies, including renewables, nuclear, abatement and removal technologies, including carbon capture and utilisation and storage, and low carbon hydrogen production, so as to enhance efforts towards substitution of unabated fossil fuels in energy systems.
“(e) Reduce 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.”