As the world prepares for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28), concerns have been raised about the upward trend of fossil fuel production. The COP28, which will take place in the United Arab Emirates, will focus on the world’s ambition to phase out fossil fuels and will include a review of global climate action.
The European Union, made up of twenty-seven countries, has already approved its negotiations strategy for COP28. The strategy is centered on a call to phase out “unabated fossil fuels,” with ten of those countries wanting a complete phase out of fossil fuels. However, the success of this call will depend on the willingness of major fossil fuel producing countries like the United States, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates.
The United States plays a crucial role in advancing plans to phase out fossil fuels as it is the biggest producer of oil and gas in the world. However, this is a challenge as U.S. oil and gas companies continue to make substantial profits while receiving significant taxpayer subsidies. Moreover, industry executives do not believe in projections that oil and gas demand will peak in 2030 despite evidence suggesting otherwise.
Expanding renewable energy and electrifying the economy in a responsible manner are necessary to address these concerns. Failure to do so will have environmental and economic consequences that we are not prepared to meet and must avoid at all costs if humanity’s survival is at stake.