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Climate summit: Letter from the OPEC Secretary General causes criticism

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Climate summit: Letter from the OPEC Secretary General causes criticism

Dubai (epd). At the World Climate Conference (COP28) in Dubai, the dispute over an exit from oil, gas and coal is coming to a head. Media reports on Saturday about a letter from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which apparently aims to prevent such a decision, caused discontent. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) was nevertheless optimistic about the negotiations.

This climate summit could make a real difference, said Baerbock. For the first time there is a chance of a result that is not characterized by “old fossil power politics”.

In Dubai, the states are still struggling until Tuesday over a formulation for phasing out fossil fuels. A preliminary draft presents various options, including a commitment to phasing out all fossil fuels. According to the draft, it is also possible that the topic is not mentioned at all in the resolution.

According to research by the British “Guardian”, OPEC Secretary General Haitham al-Ghais called on the 13 member countries to resist an exit in a letter. According to the Guardian, the organization did not want to comment on the letter. Other international media also reported on the letter.

OPEC is a group of major global oil producers, including Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Nigeria. The host of COP28, the United Arab Emirates, is also part of the organization.

According to their own information, the OPEC states have around 80 percent of the world‘s oil reserves. According to experts, an exit from fossil fuels is necessary to stop global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius. In order to achieve this goal agreed in the Paris Climate Agreement, greenhouse gas emissions must fall sharply this decade.

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Climate activist Luisa Neubauer said it was “dangerous” and “absurd” what measures OPEC was resorting to. “She sees that we could win,” wrote the “Fridays for Future” activist on the Internet service X, formerly Twitter. Greenpeace International also criticized the alleged intervention of the OPEC Secretary General.

The federal government is campaigning for an exit from oil, gas and coal in Dubai. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) has been leading the negotiations since Friday.

The climate representative at the Foreign Office, Jennifer Morgan, said that the critical phase of the negotiations was now beginning. She is worried “that not everyone is contributing constructively.” She did not name individual countries. It is time “for all countries to remember what is at stake.”

The climate summit, also known as COP28 in technical jargon, ends as scheduled on Tuesday. At previous climate conferences, however, negotiations took longer because the states did not agree on key issues.

Welthungerhilfe also called for a complete phase-out of coal, oil and gas. “We need a clear commitment in the final document to phase out fossil fuels in an orderly and fair manner,” said Welthungerhilfe chairman Mathias Mogge to the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” (Saturday).

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