The Global Stocktake statement has concluded the end of COP28 in Dubai, dubbed the ‘Conference of the Petrostates’, with historic wording on fossil fuels.

Mark Campanale, Founder and Director of Carbon Tracker, said:

“COP28 has been dominated by one crucial question: Should we accelerate a phase-out of fossil fuels to deliver what the science calls for? We see important language in the Global Stocktake about ‘transitioning away’ from fossil fuels. The COP Presidency has succeeded in declaring for the first time that the burning of fossil fuels is at the heart of the climate crisis, however, we are left with a compromised ending that represents some progress but still fails to send a clear and unambiguous signal about the unstoppable pace of the energy transition and the end of the fossil fuel era.

“Financial institutions and investors should therefore be under no illusion. The hundreds of billions invested in fossil fuel expansion is looking considerably more risky. Stranded fossil assets are now more, not less likely, following this COP and the momentum it will generate.”

“Carbon Tracker is unequivocal about the winning economics of the transition and the risks of investing in new fossil fuels. Low-carbon technology, without relying on unproven and expensive fossil abatement technologies, is increasingly in place. The world should not allow a cartel like OPEC+ to strangle progress or blindly give a nod to big oil companies who are poised to crank up production instead of winding them down. Don’t be misdirected by this fudged declaration. The direction of travel is there for all to see.”

Richard Folland, Head of Policy and Engagement for Carbon Tracker, said:

“This COP has shown that there’s no going back, even if the final text is still hamstrung by loopholes inspired by fossil fuel lobbyists. All governments know full well what the science is telling us; and those who want to deliver the step change now need to consider whether the UNFCCC consensus principle – and the way that decisions are forced through — is fit for purpose to meet the climate crisis. In the meantime, if the UN can’t get to grips sufficiently, we will increasingly see the emergence of coalitions of the willing like the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance and significant initiatives like the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, those who are prepared to address the root of the problem.

“This COP has also shown us that some countries dependent on oil and gas are still in denial about the transition. Carbon Tracker’s Petrostates of Decline report describes how oil and gas producers face growing fiscal risks as the energy transition unfolds. The longer fossil producers remain in denial, the greater the risk of an unequitable, wealth destroying disorderly transition that nobody will want.”