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The run-up to COP28

COP28 ‘must be the turning point’ for a fossil fuel-free future
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Oil pipeline reflecting Dubai skyline, United Arab Emirates

Climate diplomats and about 40 ministers from across the globe gathered in Berlin for the Petersberg Dialogue (02-03 May), at a meeting that will lay the framework for the UN climate talks in UAE (COP28) later this year.

In order to keep global heating to 1.5°C, campaigners stressed that the final cover decision must include the equitable phase out of all fossil fuels – coal, oil, and gas – and establish the goal to install 1.5 Terawatt (TW) of renewable energy yearly for 2030.

Preparing for COP28

This meeting, hardly known outside diplomatic circles, is an essential part of the road to COP28.

It is at this meeting that key negotiators and ministers will identify priorities and common expectations for the big climate conference in Dubai (30 November-12 December 2023).

The equitable phase out of fossil fuels and renewable energy targets were both on the agenda for the meeting. 

‘Over the last two months we have seen two tropical cyclones tear through Vanuatu within the span of one week, devastating communities. 1.5 degrees isn’t just a target for the Pacific, it is a limit. To stay below that limit, we need a phase out of fossil fuels and a fast, fair and financed transition into renewable energy. We bear almost no historical responsibility for the climate crisis but are willing to lead, there is still hope and the solutions to this crisis exist.’ 

Pacific managing director for

Phasing out fuels or emissions?

At the meeting, COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber, who is also head of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, said we must be ‘laser-focused on phasing out fossil fuel emissions’, rather than focused on phasing out fossil fuels themselves, while at the same time ramping up ‘viable, affordable zero-carbon alternatives’.

He also said we must ‘supercharge climate finance, making it more available, more accessible and more affordable to drive delivery across every climate pillar.’

‘The recent IPCC was a final wakeup call for the decisive decade and the oil CEO COP28 president, Sultan Al Jaber, has so far rather hit the snooze button. He must not be able to again hide behind the same few blockers with vested interests.

‘Negotiators must go a step further and form a strong united coalition for a COP28 cover decision to phase out all fossil fuels and simultaneously massively scale-up the deployment of renewable energy. It’s long past time for him to wake up.’

Policy and campaigns associate director at

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