COP28 agreeable to Saudis as it lets nations chart own course – source


Dubai (Reuters) – The deal struck at the COP28 U.N. climate summit is agreeable because it provides a “menu” for every country to follow its own pathway to the energy transition, a source familiar with Saudi Arabia’s thinking told Reuters on Wednesday.

Representatives from nearly 200 countries agreed at the summit to begin reducing global consumption of fossil fuels to combat climate change, signalling the end of the oil era.

More than 100 countries had lobbied for strong language to “phase out” oil, gas and coal use, but faced powerful opposition from the Saudi Arabia-led oil producer group OPEC, which argued that the world can slash emissions without shunning specific fuels.

The Saudi source pointed to the wording of Article 28 of the accord as key to why the kingdom found it agreeable.

Article 28 recognises the need for “for deep, rapid and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in line with 1.5 degrees Celsius pathways and calls on Parties to contribute to the following global efforts, in a nationally determined manner, taking into account the Paris Agreement and their different national circumstances, pathways and approaches.”

“What you see behind that is recipes and if you are vegan you can go vegan, if you are vegetarian you can be and if you are a fish lover then you have that,” the source said.

The agreement, struck in Dubai after two weeks of negotiations, was meant to send a powerful signal to investors and policy-makers that the world is united in its desire to break with fossil fuels, something scientists say is the last best hope to stave off climate catastrophe.

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries control nearly 80% of the world’s proven oil reserves along with about a third of global oil output, and their governments rely heavily on those revenues.

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