December 9, 2023 Responds to U.S. Attempt to Distort Meaning of “Fossil Fuel Phaseout” at COP28

GLOBAL – COP28 is in the final days of negotiations that will set the stage for whether we are able to keep crucial climate goals in reach. There is talk about “fossil fuel phaseout” appearing in the final text, which marks significant momentum for the climate movement. However, news this week revealed that OPEC is panicking about the possible inclusion of “fossil fuel phaseout” in the text.

But it’s not just OPEC: reports from observers on the ground in Dubai are stating that the richest oil and gas exporting nations, being led by the U.S., are ostensibly on board with including phaseout language in the final text. In reality, the text they are proposing could actually hinder climate goals by obscuring the meaning of “phaseout” and enshrining dangerous distractions like carbon capture and storage (CCS), hydrogen, and nuclear in the phaseout text.

JL Andrepont, Senior Policy Analyst responds:

“This is a major inflection point for our entire planet: world leaders have the chance to finally commit to the fossil fuel phaseout we need to prevent the worst of the climate catastrophe and stand on the side of people and planet. And yet, as the expression goes, the U.S. is trying to have their cake and eat it, too. The U.S. wants to appear to support a fossil fuel phaseout, but they’re manipulating that language so that they can continue to burn fossil fuels, wreak havoc on the rest of the planet, and rely on dangerous distractions like carbon capture instead of having to make meaningful change.

The White House’s coverage this week has lauded the Biden administration’s climate efforts. However, we’ve been watching, too, and we call on Biden and his Climate Team to be the leaders they are claiming to be: stop playing diplomatic games with the world’s future and support a full, rapid fossil fuel phaseout. The U.S., the world’s largest oil and gas extractor and exporter, has a responsibility to make up for current and historical emissions. Let’s get on the right side of history.”


Media Contacts:

At COP28:
Kim Bryan / [email protected] / +44 7770 881503

Melanie Smith / [email protected]
[email protected]