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COP28: Gewessler calls for clarity on fossil energies

COP28: Gewessler calls for clarity on fossil energies
Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) in Dubai
Image: APA/BMK/CAJETAN PERWEIN

After the largest OPEC producer Saudi Arabia and Russia spoke out against the end of fossil energies at the UN climate summit, Environment Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) insisted again on Sunday in Dubai that these energy sources be mentioned for the first time in the final text . This is “necessary and important,” she said, speaking out against the focus on reducing emissions.

  • Also read on this topic: Guterres intervenes in dispute over abandonment of fossils

The OPEC states argued that COP28 should instead focus on such emissions reductions. The minister identifies a “blockade” of resistance in Saudi Arabia when it comes to naming the fossils. The argument that only the emissions are bad, but not the sources, does not bring any clarity, because “it is the fossil fuels that are heating up the planet,” said Gewessler. According to her, the current text contains four options on fossil energies that can represent both “opportunities” and “a lot of danger” – the latter would mean that they cannot be mentioned at all.

Coalition to reduce subsidies

Gewessler, however, assessed the decision of Finance Minister Magnus Brunner (ÖVP) to join the international coalition launched by the Netherlands to reduce subsidies for fossil fuels as positive. At the start it included twelve nations. The first step here is to get a complete overview of the extent of these subsidies so that action can then be taken.

What is striking two days before the official end of the UN climate conference is the strong involvement of the COP presidency in the negotiations. She is due to receive a new text package on Monday, which will then contain all points such as the global stocktake or climate financing. This is a moment of truth for the United Arab Emirates, the WWF said. COP President Sultan Al Jaber has repeatedly emphasized that he wants to achieve an ambitious result at this climate conference: “Now he bears responsibility for ensuring that his country is part of the solution and presents an ambitious text,” said WWF climate spokesman Thomas Zehetner .

“Course correction overdue”

Regarding the subsidy initiative, WWF Austria said that Finance Minister Brunner should launch a “reform and dismantling plan” for all environmentally harmful subsidies in Austria as quickly as possible: “Just documenting errors as provided for in this initiative is not enough, a course correction has been going on for years overdue,” Zehetner stated here.

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