Draft COP28 text ‘insufficient’ and ‘unacceptable’, EU says

(EurActiv, 12 Dec 2023) The Emirati head of COP28 climate talks on Monday (11 December) stopped short of pushing for a phase-out of fossil fuels in a first bid for consensus that drew immediate criticism from Western countries who had hoped for a historic turning point.

After an earlier draft listed the landmark option of a “phase-out” of oil, gas and coal, the new text draft focuses on “reducing” their production and consumption to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

If the text aimed to win over the Saudis, it disappointed Western leaders, with the European Union, the United States, Germany and France all calling for more robust language.

“We consider this an insufficient text,” said Teresa Ribera, the Spanish ecology minister who is part of the EU delegation to COP28. “There are elements in the text that are fully unacceptable,” she added, referring to the lack of explicit reference to the phase-out of fossil fuels.

French negotiator Agnès Pannier-Runacher echoed those words. “This text is insufficient. There are elements that are not acceptable as they are,” she said.

The United States, while voicing appreciation for Emirati efforts, called for fossil fuel language to be “substantially strengthened”.

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EurActiv, 12 Dec 2023: Draft COP28 text ‘insufficient’ and ‘unacceptable’, EU says