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COP28 or COP-OUT?—Poster of the Week

Fossil Fools

Bill Moran

Letterpress, 2004

St. Paul, MN


The 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as Conference of the Parties (COP28), was held in Dubai from Nov 30-Dec 12, 2023 and continues to engender outrage and criticism. 

Choosing to hold COP28 in the United Arab Emirates—one of the world’s leading oil producing countries—is beyond cynical, and questioned the intentions of COP28 from the start. Doubts were reinforced as the conference was led by Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber, the head of the state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). At the start of COP 28 Al-Jaber made controversial remarks, falsely claiming that there is no scientific evidence that phasing out fossil fuels will limit the increase of the average global temperature. This reinforced the belief that his role was to further the fossil fuel agenda.

COP28 also introduced a loss and damages fund for impoverished nations bearing the brunt of climate-fueled disasters. Lower-income countries have a smaller carbon footprint and contribute little to the damage produced by fossil fuels, but more frequently face the floods, fires, and droughts caused by global warming. A loss and damages fund could help these countries prepare for future recovery efforts such as building infrastructure, relocating communities, or providing compensation for lost and irreplaceable cultural resources. Wealthier nations including the United Arab Emirates, U.K., U.S., Germany, and Japan have pledged a combined $700 million to this fund. Unfortunately, this amount pales in comparison to the estimated $400 billion a year that developing countries need in order to adequately cope with the losses and damages caused by climate change. 

Some outcomes: 

  • More than 130 countries pledged to include emissions from agriculture and farming into their national plans to confront climate change.

  • Fifty agricultural companies agreed to reach net zero in their greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

  • 118 countries agreed to triple renewable energy capacity and double energy efficiency.

  • Fifty oil and gas companies pledged to reduce their methane emissions to near zero by 2030.

Main cop-out! 

  • A draft agreement from COP28 omitted a call to phase out fossil fuels, proposing a reduction of fossil fuels instead. This controversial change is beyond disturbing and disappointing…it is UNACCEPTABLE! Climate activists have denounced this omission as a “death warrant for the planet.” The success of COP28 is not measured by how many nations promise funding or emission, but by realistic cuts to carbon emissions and fossil fuels that will save life on this planet as we know it. 

We don’t have the luxury of waiting for the oil companies and politicians who depend on oil company donations. We must demand divestment from fossil fuels, investment in renewables, and reduce our carbon footprint. And remember, the U.S. Military is the world’s single largest consumer of oil – and therefore, one of the world’s top greenhouse gas emitters.

COP28 - Definitely a COP-OUT!



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