EU Rethinks Fossil Fuel Phase Out Ahead of COP28

The European Union’s chief climate policymaker Frans Timmermans made a bold proposal regarding fossil fuels to break the impasse in the two-week COP27 negotiations near the end of the United Nations climate summit in Sharm El-Sheikh last year.  

The 27-member bloc would consent to the creation of a finance facility to pay for losses and damages brought on by climate change, as requested by some countries. However, the EU would only support the initiative if all countries agreed to make a more firm commitment to ending the use of fossil fuels. 

Following opposition to fossil fuel reductions, climate policy makers have now switched their attention to a global goal for renewables. 

The European Union is now set to propose a global renewable energy target which would aim to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030. 

This target has gained support from several countries ahead of the COP28 climate summit in November. 

The plan has been backed by countries including Norway, which has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, and Costa Rica, which has set a target of net-zero emissions by 2050.  

However, some experts have criticised the plan for not going far enough, arguing that an ambitious target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions should still be included. 

Chile’s environment minister Maisa Rojas insisted that renewable and energy efficiency targets have to go “hand in hand” with the phase-out of fossil fuels. 

She said: “This has to go together because otherwise we will just be adding new energy right? We really have to make sure that if we add new energy, we’re also taking the dirty energy out of the system”. 

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Image Credit © EPA

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