Large New Energy Pledge at UN Climate Talks
Almost 100,000 people have gathered in Dubai, UAE for the UN climate talks, where countries and oil companies have made a significant commitment to combat global warming. Over 100 countries have pledged to triple renewable energy usage worldwide by 2030, while 50 oil and gas companies, including Saudi Arabia’s Aramco, have promised to cease contributing to planet-warming emissions by 2050.
The Challenge of Tackling Climate Change
However, critics argue that these pledges do not adequately address the burning of fossil fuels and lack consequences for failing to meet the targets. According to Prof Bill Hare, CEO of Climate Analytics, the essential task for the oil and gas industry is to move away from producing these fuels entirely. He emphasizes that “nothing else really matters in the end.”
Revisiting Existing Commitments
Many of the oil companies involved in this commitment had already announced prior plans to reduce emissions to zero. Additionally, the pledge allows for short-term increases in oil and gas production as long as they are reduced by 2050. The goal is to remove fossil fuels from the global energy system by 2050 at the latest.
President’s Perspective on the Pledge
Sultan al-Jaber, the President of COP28, addressed the summit and regarded the new pledge as a significant step forward. He highlighted the increasing number of countries and companies from various sectors aligning with the target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C, the agreed-upon goal set in Paris in 2015.
Call for Stronger Decarbonization Ambitions
While welcoming the progress made, al-Jaber acknowledged that more efforts are needed from the entire industry to achieve the 1.5°C goal and set even stronger decarbonization ambitions. The United Arab Emirates introduced the Decarbonization Charter, aiming to accelerate climate action by committing oil and gas companies responsible for 40% of global emissions to achieve net-zero by 2050.
A Demand for Urgent Action
Carroll Muffett, President of the Center for International Environmental Law, argues that the only way to truly decarbonize the oil and gas industry is to swiftly and permanently stop producing carbon-based fuels. Any action falling short of this, he claims, is mere industry greenwashing.
The Commitment to Methane Reduction
In addition to the net-zero pledge, the 50 companies involved, including the UAE’s state oil company, have committed to significantly reducing the release of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, during oil and gas production by 2030.
Secretary-General’s Urgent Plea
UN Secretary-General António Guterres stressed the need for countries to triple their renewable energy capacity, double energy efficiency, and provide clean energy access to all by 2030. He also emphasized the importance of phasing out fossil fuels to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C. The International Energy Agency has warned that continued drilling for new oil and gas reserves will hinder the achievement of climate goals.
The Issue of Greenwashing
Tina Stige, Climate Envoy for the Marshall Islands, points out that the pledge cannot simply “greenwash” countries that simultaneously expand their fossil fuel production. It is crucial to address both sides of the equation, moving towards renewable energy while reducing reliance on carbon-based fuels.
Leaders Unite at COP28
COP28 has attracted world leaders addressing the conference. Pope Francis, in a statement read by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin, emphasizes the urgent need for an ecological transition to renewable energy, the elimination of fossil fuels, and education on sustainable lifestyles. It is crucial to embrace these changes to safeguard the environment.
Read More of this Story at www.bbc.com – 2023-12-02 14:25:00
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