Arab Group voices 'gratitude' after UN deal on fossil fuels

AFP , Wednesday 13 Dec 2023

The Arab bloc praised the outcome of the UN climate summit on Wednesday, calling it a "great success" after nations adopted a call to transition away from fossil fuels but stopped short of a phase-out.

COP28 president Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber applauds his during a plenary session at the United Nations climate summit in Dubai on Dec. 13, 2023. Photo: AFP


Saudi official Albara Tawfiq, speaking on behalf of the group, voiced "gratitude" for the COP28 talks.

"On behalf of the Arab Group, I express our gratitude to the efforts of all the state parties in order to have a successful first global stocktake," he said.

Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil producer, had voiced strong opposition to mentioning a "phase-out" or "phase-down" of fossil fuels in the text.

The final agreement omitted those phrases, calling for "transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly and equitable manner".

"We must use every opportunity to reduce emissions regardless of the source. We must use all technologies to this effect," Tawfiq said.

Saudi Arabia and other oil powers have long supported targeting emissions from fossil fuels rather than the fuels themselves, touting the possibilities of carbon-capture technology.

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