The head of OPEC has urged members of the oil cartel to reject any deal at UN climate talks in Dubai that “targets” fossil fuels instead of emissions, according to a letter seen Friday by AFP.
In the letter sent Wednesday, OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais said he was writing “with a sense of utmost urgency” following the publication of a draft deal at COP28 that includes language on phasing out fossil fuels.
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“It seems that the undue and disproportionate pressure against fossil fuels may reach a tipping point with irreversible consequences, as the draft decision still contains options on fossil fuels phase out,” Ghais wrote.
He urged members of the 13-nation group as well as allies at the talks to “proactively reject any text or formula that targets energy i.e. fossil fuels rather than emissions”.
Ghais was referring to a draft deal published Tuesday. Negotiators released an updated text on Friday that still includes various options for exiting oil, gas and coal.
The COP28 conference is hosted by the United Arab Emirates, an OPEC member.
COP28 president Sultan Al Jaber is the head of the UAE’s national oil company but he has said a phase down of fossil fuels is “inevitable” and is pushing for an “unprecedented” climate deal at the talks, which are due to end on Tuesday.