ColombiaOne.comEnvironmentCOP28 Agreement to "Leave Behind" Fossil Fuels

COP28 Agreement to “Leave Behind” Fossil Fuels


COP28 agreements
COP28 agreement to “leave behind” fossil fuels. Credit: Pxhere / public domain

A historic agreement to “leave behind” the use of fossil fuels has been reached at the COP28 climate change summit in Dubai. The text, finally approved on the last day of the summit, speaks of moving towards an energy system without fossil fuels and accelerating action in this “critical decade”.

What seemed impossible two weeks ago has resulted in a truly historic final agreement that represents a triumph for those who advocated accelerating the move towards the progressive abandonment of fossil fuels, such as oil and gas. This was the position defended in the international forum by Colombia, which has caused its president, Gustavo Petro, to react with satisfaction.

The different countries that participated in the summit initially maintained different positions. However, the host, the Sultan of Dubai Al Jaber, wanted this COP to be a turning point. It seems that he has achieved his aim, since the road towards the elimination of fossil fuels starts this Wednesday in Dubai.

Historic COP28 agreement in the cradle of oil

An agreement that seemed a chimera, because this year the summit was held in the United Arab Emirates and with a strong presence of oil lobbies, was signed at this historic summit in 2023, in the very cradle of world oil.

The formula for achieving consensus has not been easy. The COP28 presidency has made public the draft that it has brought to the plenary. The new text no longer speaks of “abandoning” but of “moving away” from fossil fuels in a fair and orderly manner, accelerating action in this “critical decade” to reach zero emissions by 2050, in accordance with what science is calling for.

This has been the final formula that has achieved consensus among the parties, unblocking the most reluctant positions to abandon fossil fuels. Although it is not the most ambitious agreement that some countries wanted, it is a milestone in this type of global climate summit, as it is the first time that a text of a climate summit has dared to say that oil, gas and coal must be eliminated.

Act now

The document outlining the COP28 agreement speaks of substantially increasing the use of renewable energy, with the ultimate goal of 2050, but with a first target of 2030.

“Tripling renewable energy capacity globally, accelerating efforts to phase out coal-based energy use without mitigation systems, accelerating and substantially reducing non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions, in particular methane emissions by 2030, or phasing out ‘inefficient’ fossil fuel subsidies that do not address energy poverty and just transitions as soon as possible,” the document reads.

Objective: to stop global warming

The goal of the major global agreement reached today is to stop global warming, a real threat to life on Earth. Eight years and one day after the Paris agreement, the world adopts another historic decision, the progressive abandonment of gas, oil and coal, and reaffirms the commitment necessary to stop global warming, that is, to avoid exceeding a degree and a half of warming.

This agreement closes the first round of major changes, initiated in 2015 in Paris, and sets the path to be followed in the coming years in the fight against climate change and global warming.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicates that exceeding the 1.5 °C threshold would lead to much more severe climate change impacts, such as droughts, heat waves and more frequent and more severe rainfall.

For its part, the Paris Agreement includes the objective that the increase in global average temperature should not exceed 2°C above pre-industrial levels, as well as a commitment by all countries to make additional efforts to ensure that this temperature increase does not exceed 1.5°C.

Reactions in Colombia

The reactions in Colombia have been of satisfaction, after reaching an agreement that is in line with what the Colombian government has defended in this summit. Thus, President Petro has written: “the end of the fossil fuel era has been dictated by humanity. We were criticized and even denounced for our position, but COP28 shows that we are on the right side of history”.

Similarly, the country’s Minister of Environment, Susana Muhamad, who has played a very active role in this world summit, has reacted with equal satisfaction. “COP28 has listened to science. For the first time, its studies are influencing political decisions and allowing the final text to include an invitation to countries to abandon fossil fuels. We must move forward on a Non-Proliferation Treaty,” she wrote on her social networks.

See all the latest news from Colombia and the world at Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow Colombia One on Google News, Facebook, Instagram, and subscribe here to our newsletter.