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Climate Movement Wins ‘Transition Away From Fossil Fuels’ Language

Above photo: United Arab Emirates Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 President Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber attends the plenary, after a draft of a negotiation deal was released, at the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December 13, 2023. Amr Alfiky / Reuters.

Continues To Push Back Against Loopholes And Lack Of Ambition.

US Carried Out Aggressive Negotiations that Ignored Most Impacted Communities.

Dubai, UAE – On Tuesday, COP28 ended with the adoption of the UAE Consensus, which aims to transition global governments away from fossil fuels to net zero by 2050. The Climate Justice Alliance, a coalition of 88 organizations fighting for a Just Transition, was present at COP28 to observe the negotiations and push the U.S., the largest emitter of fossil fuels and the largest expander of the fossil fuel industry, to participate responsibly.

In response to the adoption of the UAE Consensus, Bineshi Albert, co-Executive Director of Climate Justice Alliance, released the following statement:

“Thanks largely to the work of climate and environmental justice leaders from around the world, we won the inclusion of ‘transition away from fossil fuels’ language in the final agreement. The inclusion is a big win in a COP held in an oil state, overseen by an oil executive, and where we witnessed the largest number of oil and gas lobbyists in attendance ever.

“However, we must be clear that this language does not meet the full, rapid, fair, and funded fossil fuel phase out without abatement technology that civil society demanded. It also falls immensely short because net zero is not an adequate solution to the climate crisis we find ourselves in. Instead, the agreement excludes oil and gas from phase down language, and uplifts false, unproven solutions– techno fixes like Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), hydrogen, and language on transition fuels which yet again leaves the door open for the expansion of the gas sector across the world. Due to these loopholes, and many others written alongside it, we must again push back and demand the U.S. take active steps to phase out fossil fuels now, not down the road or over the long-term.

“Additionally, the Loss and Damage Fund, a fund created last year after years of organizing by climate justice movements to give reparations to communities most harmed by fossil fuel polluters, was put into operation on the opening day of COP28.

“And yet, the U.S., the government most responsible for total historical emissions, contributed a meager $17.5 million to the fund. We continue to call on the US to contribute its fair share and demand accountability and better oversight of the funds. We will also push the US to move the funds out of the World Bank, which continues to build inequality and dependence through their funding practices, and ensure they go directly to the most impacted communities and countries with no strings attached. It is crucial to the mission of climate justice that communities get direct funding through regenerative economy grants and just lending practices so that debt doesn’t prevent them from having the ability to adapt and mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis.”

“Finally, we reminded negotiators and the world that there can be no climate justice without human rights. The U.S., which houses the biggest polluter – the U.S. military – cannot continue to enable and fund genocide through increased militarization and military support for Israel. We cannot call for climate action while simultaneously expanding and creating new sacrifice zones through war. We cannot keep funding war economies to the drum of billions of dollars and pay pennies for climate action.

“Climate Justice Alliance and our partners will continue to push for real community climate solutions that can be implemented and resourced now and that leave no one behind.”

Watch our closing press conference for more of our takeaways from COP28:

COP28 Press Conference from Climate Justice Alliance on Vimeo.

Other members and allies like the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), Indigenous Climate Action, and Chisholm Legacy Project, were present at COP28 as well. IEN brought their largest delegation yet, to ensure Indigenous knowledge paves the foundation of any global approach to the climate crisis.

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