Spanish minister slams 'disgusting' OPEC push on fossil fuels

AFP , Saturday 9 Dec 2023

Spanish ecology transition minister Teresa Ribera lashed out Saturday at an OPEC bid to block any phase-out of fossil fuels at UN climate negotiations in Dubai, calling the move "disgusting".

Spain Deputy Prime Minister Teresa Ribera
Spain Deputy Prime Minister Teresa Ribera speaks during a plenary session at the COP28 U.N. Climate Summit, Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. AP


Spain holds the European Union's rotating presidency and Ribera is its representative at the COP28 negotiations, where the EU is pressing for an exit from oil, gas, and coal.

"I think that it is quite, quite a disgusting thing that OPEC countries are pushing against getting the bar where it has to be," Ribera told reporters.

"We need to be quite clear, bold, crystal clear that the European Union will be aligning with... a large majority of the parties in this conference to ensure that we have (a) meaningful and productive outcome connected to this phase-out of fossil fuels," she added.

OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais sent a letter to the group's 13 members and 10 Russian-led allies this week after negotiators at talks in Dubai released a draft deal that included calls for a phase-out of fossil fuels.

In the letter sent Wednesday, Ghais urges the group to "proactively reject any text or formula that targets energy i.e. fossil fuels rather than emissions".

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