COP28 Summit Ends In Deal to Transition Away From Fossil Fuels

Dec 14, 2023

Tough negotiations at the COP 28 climate summit in Dubai spilled over into an overtime session. By the time representatives left, nearly 200 countries signed a new pledge. They agreed to work toward phasing out fossil fuels as an energy source in the battle against a warming planet.       

The deal was struck at the finale of the summit. There, climate envoys from across the world had been meeting for two weeks.   

The final draft resolution is meant as a strong warning to global leaders. It shows that drastic action must be taken to wean the world off fossil fuels. The burning of such fuels like oil, gas, and coal emit gasses that help to cause global warming.     

Many climate advocates say the final COP28 deal fell short, though. They claim it does little to check major greenhouse gas emitters. The US, China, and India are the three largest polluters in the world. 

“We have made an incremental advancement over business as usual," said Anne Rasmussen of the Alliance of Small Island States. "What we really need is an exponential step change in our actions.” Small island nations are at high risk from the stronger storms and rising sea waters that result from climate change.   

Negotiators argued for days about the language in the final deal. Much of the debate focused on whether it should call for the complete phasing out of all fossil fuels by 2050. The summit took place in the heart of the oil-rich region of the Middle East.   

In the end, the deal calls for “transitioning away from fossil fuels." It says that should be done in a "just, orderly and equitable manner." The long term goal, it states, is to "achieve net zero by 2050 in keeping with the science."    

Photo from Reuters.

Reflect: How do international agreements affect our planet's future, and what role can individuals play in addressing climate change?

The COP28 summit was held in a region known for its significant oil reserves. This detail included in the story would best be described as _______. (Common Core RI.5.8; RI.6.8)
a. an exaggeration
b. a fact
c. an opinion
d. a value
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