Nearly 200 nations have agreed to “transition away from fossil fuels” at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, in what is being hailed a “landmark” agreement.
It was certainly a historic moment for climate rhetoric and especially significant given that major petrostates signed up (despite reportedly trying to keep “fossil fuels” out of the final text). Nations also pledged to triple renewable energy capacity by the end of the decade – an ambitious but achievable target.
Yet many climate scientists won’t be raising a glass to the summit. It’s been said that winning slowly on the climate is the same as losing. “Well, this is surely the quintessence of slowly,” wrote Rupert Read, emeritus professor at the University of East Anglia, and co-director of the Climate Majority Project, a rallying place for citizen climate action.
Read’s views were echoed by other scientists, who criticised the woolly, “loophole ridden” deal that lacks teeth.
Nonetheless, the symbolism is hard to ignore. The end of fossil fuels is nigh. Even the petrostates agree.
Image: Christoph Schulz