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COP28: the fate of fossil fuels haunts the night of negotiators in Dubai | COP28: climate summit in Dubai

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Heads of delegations arrive for negotiations on the formulation of the presidential draft on the eleventh day of the UNFCCC COP28 climate conference, as negotiations enter their final phase on December 11, 2023 in Dubai.

Agence France-Presse

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The final negotiations of COP28 continued without interruption into the night of Tuesday around the compromise proposed by the Emirati president, widely rejected by the countries for its lack of ambition on the exit from fossil fuels.

In the early hours of the theoretical last day of the 28th United Nations Climate Conference in Dubai, Western countries, island states as well as African and Latin American countries reiterated their opposition to the text during a closed-door meeting. , according to negotiators contacted by AFP.

C' is the last COP where we will have the chance to be able to keep alive the 1.5°C [the most ambitious objective of the Paris agreement].

A quote from American envoy John Kerry

A new text, the result of these nocturnal exchanges on the 13th day of the summit, is hoped for Tuesday morning, according to delegates and a source close to the presidency. But COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber's goal of securing a historic deal by 11 a.m., the anniversary of the Paris Agreement, now seems out of reach for most delegates.

This is not a problem for the European delegation, we have time and we are prepared to stay a little longer, assured the head of the German diplomacy Annalena Baerbock.

COP28: climate summit in Dubai

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Monday evening, Sultan Al Jaber, boss of the Emirati oil and gas company and president of COP28, proposed a draft agreement which gives complete freedom to countries to choose their way of reducing fossil fuels.

The 21-page text therefore no longer sets any common objective for exiting oil, gas and coal, although envisaged in previous versions, which would constitute a historic decision if it were adopted by consensus of 194 countries, plus 27 countries. ;European Union, having ratified the Paris Agreement.

Fossil fuels are responsible for around two thirds of greenhouse gas emissions, the cause of global warming and its attendant disasters (droughts, heatwaves, floods, etc.). Warming since the industrial era could even reach 1.5°C by the start of the 2030s, if humanity does not reduce its emissions by 43% by then compared to 2019.< /p>

The Republic of the Marshall Islands has not come here to sign its death warrant, thundered its Minister of Natural Resources, John Silk, after the publication of the text.

The European Union considers the project insufficient and the United States calls for it to be substantially strengthened.

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An activist at a protest at the COP28 UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai.

NGOs and experts denounce a project listing non-binding options, a shopping list or an à la carte menu putting the development of solar, x27;wind, nuclear, hydrogen or carbon capture techniques.

In their infancy, the latter are favored by the fossil industry and producing countries, Saudi Arabia in the lead, but will have only a weak impact in the current crucial decade.

There are elements that are not acceptable as they stand, declared the French Minister of Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher.

I am surprised by the lack of ambition, confides a Western negotiator, judging the text uninspired from start to finish, poorly designed, repetitive, incoherent…

But, as a source at the Emirati presidency of COP28 indicated, this is part of the negotiation game: It's an opening movement, it will be necessary build from that.

We have made progress, but we still have a lot to do, admitted Sultan Al Jaber who is seeking the point of balance between Saudi Arabia and its allies on the one hand, facing the hundred countries in favor of phasing out fossil fuels.

Eyes are also on China and the United States, the two largest global emitters of gas greenhouse effect (41% between them).

In November, in the Sunnylands declaration, the two powers agreed to avoid talking about an exit from fossil fuels, but emphasized the role of renewable energies to gradually replace them.

China, which plays a fundamental role in rallying the developing world towards a final consensus, wants to stick to the Sunnylands formula, while the United States wants to go further far, analyzes Li Shuo of the Asia Society think tank.

Progress on energy objectives is also suspended from parallel progress in other negotiated texts, in particular on adaptation to the consequences of global warming and on financial aid to developing countries, which are key to convincing the South to #x27;accept an agreement.

I urge all countries to remain focused on 1.5°C and to ensure that #x27;ambition for this decade is quite high, reacted on “>For Alden Meyer, of the E3G think tank, we are in a big crisis: the next few days will tell whether we have a viable international climate regime, or not.

The COP28 is now on the verge of total failure went so far as to write about X Al Gore, former American vice-president and climate activist.

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