The U.N. climate talks in Dubai are wrestling with the contentious issue of fossil fuel phase-out. Will this year’s summit finally deliver a global agreement on ending reliance on the planet’s biggest source of climate change?

Over 80 countries, including major oil and gas producers like Norway and the United States, are pushing for a pact to phase out all CO2-emitting fossil fuels. This growing number of nations underscores the urgency of transitioning away from these harmful energy sources. Many argue that a “phase out” is a necessary “tool to reach the goal” of an emissions-free energy system.

Developing Nations Advocate for Fairness

African nations like Uganda are calling for a “first in, first out” approach, where developed countries quit fossil fuels first, acknowledging their historical responsibility and allowing developing nations to exploit their resources for a limited period. This raises the critical question of fairness and ensuring equitable development while addressing the climate crisis.

Carbon Capture: A Technological Solution or Excuse for Continued Reliance?

Saudi Arabia wants a COP28 deal that includes a focus on carbon capture technologies, which capture CO2 emissions from fossil fuels. However, these technologies remain expensive and not widely used, raising concerns about their feasibility and potential as a mere excuse for continued fossil fuel use.

The UN’s climate experts, the IPCC, are clear are clear about drastically reducing fossil fuels to avoid even worse climate change. While carbon capture technology could help some polluting industries, it shouldn’t be used as an excuse to keep burning fossil fuels business-as-usual.

The EU also emphasizes this point. They want the COP28 deal to clearly state that countries need to cut their fossil fuel use enough to prevent global warming from exceeding 1.5°C, which would have devastating consequences.

Addressing Cooling-Related Emissions

In a significant step towards mitigating climate change, 63 countries, including the U.S., Canada, and Kenya, joined a pledge to deeply cut emissions from cooling technologies like refrigeration and air conditioning. This initiative acknowledges the growing contribution of these technologies to global warming and emphasizes the need for collective action to address them.

COP 29 Host Issue: Deadlock and Uncertainty

The selection of the host for the upcoming COP 29 climate summit in 2024 is shrouded in uncertainty and facing an unprecedented deadlock. According to the established rotation system, it’s Eastern Europe’s turn to host the COP29 summit. However, reaching a consensus on a specific host nation has proven challenging. Russia, a major player in Eastern Europe, has emerged as a key obstacle. It opposes holding COP29 in any European Union member state, effectively blocking Bulgaria’s bid following the ongoing geopolitical tensions following the Russia-Ukraine war.

The other two potential hosts, Azerbaijan and Armenia, are locked in a long-standing conflict and refuse to endorse each other. Unusually, this late in the cycle, there’s no confirmed host for COP29, unlike previous years where the next presidency is announced well in advance.

Dairy Companies Take Action on Methane Emissions

Recognizing the contribution of livestock methane to global warming, six major dairy companies committed to disclosing their methane emissions and developing methane action plans. This initiative demonstrates the growing awareness of the issue and commitment from key players in the industry to address it.

Looking Ahead: A Decisive Moment for Fossil Fuels

With just days left in COP28, negotiators face a crucial decision: will they forge an agreement that sets a clear and definitive path towards phasing out fossil fuels? The stakes are high, and the world is watching closely to see if COP28 can finally deliver the bold action needed to tackle the climate crisis. This moment marks a turning point in the global conversation about fossil fuels, and the decisions made at COP28 will have far-reaching consequences for the future of our planet.