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regular-article-logo Thursday, 23 May 2024

Global South deeply disappointed over GST draft at COP28; calls for major revisions

The latest global stocktake (GST) draft, which will be the centrepiece of the final deal document, does not mention the "phase-out of fossil fuels"

PTI Dubai Published 12.12.23, 02:22 PM
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Developing countries have deplored the latest draft of the global stocktake, the most important document of the ongoing climate conference (COP28) here, calling for major changes, including in the section offering options to slash planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, negotiators from the Global South said on Tuesday.

The latest global stocktake (GST) draft, which will be the centrepiece of the final deal document, does not mention the "phase-out of fossil fuels". However, it includes stronger language on coal usage, which is problematic for heavily coal-dependent countries like India and China.

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Approximately 40 per cent of global CO2 emissions stem from coal, with oil and gas contributing to the remaining percentage.

India, relying on coal for about 70 per cent of its power generation, aims to add 17 gigawatts of coal-based power generation capacity in the next 16 months.

India has voiced strong concerns about the specific targeting of coal. Together with other developing countries, it has demanded a revision of the entire paragraph 39 of the draft document, which lists options to slash planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, a negotiator from the Global South said, adding a new draft is expected on Tuesday.

They have also called on developed countries to vacate carbon space for developing nations by achieving negative carbon emissions (removing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than emitted), not merely reaching net zero by 2050.

Developing country groups such as G77+China, Like Minded Developing Countries, and BASIC grouping (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) have stressed the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities be strongly reflected in the text.

They have also urged developed countries to provide finance and transfer technology for a just transition, the process of moving away from fossil fuels towards renewables fairly and equitably.

The negotiators said the developing countries have emphasised that "ambition cannot be raised without substantial financial support, which should be in trillions".

They have also highlighted that developed countries cannot dictate the implementation of plans to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the threshold to prevent exacerbating climate impacts.

The GST draft released on Monday acknowledges the importance of tripling global renewable energy capacity and doubling energy efficiency rates by 2030, yet lacks specifics.

The International Energy Agency insists that achieving this is critical to avoid breaching the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold.

However, the draft does suggest countries could agree on reducing the "production and consumption of fossil fuels" for the first time in the history of UN climate conferences.

Several countries and the European Union have emphasised that a deal to "phase out all fossil fuels" would signal success for COP28.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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