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COP28 Seeks Agreement on Fossil Fuel Phaseout Amid OPEC Pushback

HeadlineDec 11, 2023

In Dubai, members of the oil producer alliance OPEC+ have been blocking progress toward a global agreement to phase out the use of fossil fuels as the U.N.’s COP28 climate summit in Dubai barrels toward its conclusion on Tuesday. Led by Saudi Arabia, delegates from OPEC countries backed by coal, oil and gas lobbyists have rejected any draft text that even mentions fossil fuels. This is Democratic U.S. Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts speaking from the sidelines of the COP28 talks on Sunday.

Sen. Ed Markey: ”COP should conclude with a final statement that says that the world wants to end this addiction, it wants to phase out fossil fuels. OPEC does not want to phase out fossil fuels. They made that very clear yesterday.”

On Saturday, hundreds marched within the conference site calling for an end of the burning of fossil fuels, as well as a ceasefire in Gaza.

Daniela Marques: “We’re here to say how megacorporations and fossil fuels industry is melting the planet. We’re here to defend a phaseout of fossil fuels.”

Demonstrations at COP28 were met with heavy censorship. Protesters saw their movements sharply restricted, were barred from displaying national flags and were given strict limits on what their signs could say and what slogans they were allowed to chant. Another group that rallied to demand the release of pro-democracy activists detained in the United Arab Emirates and Egypt were not allowed to hold up signs bearing the names of the political prisoners. A Human Rights Watch researcher called the crackdown a “shocking level of censorship in a space that had been guaranteed to have basic freedoms protected like freedom of expression, assembly and association.”

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