Climate activists protest to demand a phase out of fossil fuels

Is This COP28 Climate Agreement Draft a Joke?

For close to two weeks, representatives from nearly 200 countries have been gathered in Dubai for the COP28 Climate Summit, hoping to reach a consensus on how to address the global climate crisis. The summit was scheduled to end today, December 12, and things are not looking good.

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On Monday, a draft of the core agreement these nations are supposed to produce was finally released. According to CNN, it was posted six hours later than it was expected but honestly, they should have kept working—or even just taken the Incomplete and kept this one to themselves. Because what they published raises so many questions and, quite frankly, should be embarrassing for everyone involved.

In crafting this agreement on how to respond to the climate crisis, this proposed version was filled with toothless language, suggesting countries “could” consider reducing reliance on fossil fuels over an unspecified timeline. This draft also entirely removed wording calling for a “phase-out” of fossil fuels.

Former U.S. Vice President, presidential popular vote winner, and climate advocate Al Gore blasted this draft and the waste of time and space that the summit is proving itself to be.

“COP28 is now on the verge of complete failure. The world desperately needs to phase out fossil fuels as quickly as possible, but this obsequious draft reads as if OPEC dictated it word for word. It is even worse than many had feared,” Gore wrote on Twitter/X.

His post continues:

It is “Of the Petrostates, By the Petrostates and For the Petrostates.” It is deeply offensive to all who have taken this process seriously. There are 24 hours left to show whose side the world is on: the side that wants to protect humanity’s future by kickstarting the orderly phase out of fossil fuels or the side of the petrostates and the leaders of the oil and gas companies that are fueling the historic climate catastrophe. In order to prevent COP28 from being the most embarrassing and dismal failure in 28 years of international climate negotiations, the final text must include clear language on phasing out fossil fuels. Anything else is a massive step backwards from where the world needs to be to truly address the climate crisis and make sure the 1.5°C goal doesn’t die in Dubai.

There was already frustration over what has been perceived as a lack of seriousness going into this summit. Allowing the United Arab Emirates to host a climate summit when it is one of the world’s top oil producers was an exceptionally questionable choice. That Joe Biden couldn’t be bothered to attend also left many American climate activists frustrated.

According to The Guardian, the summit is now officially in overtime as those gathered try to agree on a plan that isn’t a “death warrant” for the most vulnerable countries, as this embarrassing draft was rightfully called.

(featured image: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.