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OPEC resists fossil fuel phase-out in COP28 climate deal

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Negotiations at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai are facing resistance from OPEC members, who are pushing against attempts to include language on “phasing out” fossil fuels in a potential deal.

This according to Reuters highlights the ongoing struggle over whether the summit will, for the first time in 30 years, formally address the future of oil and gas.

OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais sent a letter to member countries on Wednesday, urging them to reject any language targeting fossil fuels.

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He warned of “irreversible consequences” if undue pressure was placed on the industry.

Al Ghais declined to comment further on the letter, but reiterated OPEC’s position that the focus of the talks should be on reducing emissions rather than picking specific energy sources.

“The world requires major investments in all energies, including hydrocarbons,” he said. “Energy transitions must be just, fair and inclusive.”

However, at least 80 countries are demanding a COP28 deal that calls for an eventual end to fossil fuel use, citing their role as the primary driver of climate change.

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These countries believe such a move is essential to achieve the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Nations that rely heavily on oil and gas revenue, including several OPEC members, are pushing back against this proposal.

They argue that energy transitions must be “just, fair and inclusive,” and that phasing out fossil fuels too quickly could harm their economies.

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Additionally, they promote technologies like carbon capture as a way to mitigate emissions from fossil fuels.

Tina Stege, climate envoy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, one of the countries most affected by climate change, argued that continued reliance on fossil fuels poses a greater risk to global prosperity than transitioning away from them.

She emphasized that achieving the 1.5°C goal requires a phase-out of fossil fuels.

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