Oil producing countries refuse to cooperate in phasing out fossil fuels

OPEC is the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. It’s an umbrella organisation speaking on behalf of oil producing countries which have formed an oil cartel to protect their businesses.

And is become abundantly clear at Cop29 that they refuse to give up oil production despite the siren call from obvious signs of climate change that it will be necessary to phase out oil production across the planet.

The headlines today are that many political leaders and scientists involved in climate change are shocked by the behaviour of OPEC in urging its members to block a Cop29 commitment to phase out fossil fuels.

It’s become clear through a leaked letter from the oil cartel’s secretary-general Haitham Al Ghais, which said that a draft deal coming out of Cop29 may put “undue and disproportionate pressure against fossil fuels [which] may reach a tipping point with irreversible consequences”.

In short, OPEC is concerned that they’re going to lose their businesses with the change to sustainable forms of energy and the phasing out of fossil fuels becoming irreversible in their words and therefore they can see the end of their businesses in due course, which of course is true! And it has to be true it seems to me.

OPEC wants their members to “proactively reject any text or formula that targets energy i.e. fossil fuels rather than emissions.”

I don’t understand that statement because emissions come from the burning of fossil fuels.

The Spanish deputy minister, Teresa Ribera said: “I think that it is quite, quite a disgusting thing that OPEC countries are pushing against getting the bar [the phasing out of fossil fuels].”

And Tina Stege, climate envoy for the Marshall Islands, one of many small island states at risk from rising sea levels due to climate change, commented: “Nothing puts the prosperity and future of all people on the Earth, including all the citizens of OPEC countries, at greater risk than fossil fuels.”

The general feeling is that Cop29 must come up with a commitment to phase out fossil fuels. It has become a litmus test for this climate change summit. It ends on Tuesday and whether they have this commitment will be a measure of whether it has been a failure or a success.

Saudi Arabia and other petrostates oppose such a commitment. If they come to this commitment, it will be the first in three decades of climate change summit meetings.

Comment: you can see the problem, can’t you? Humankind is reliant on fossil fuels. Many countries are reliant on the selling of fossil fuels such as Russia. Without fossil fuels Russia would be dead in the water. So, when a country is reliant upon the production and sale of fossil fuels, they’re going to be very reluctant to give it up or make any changes. This should be a change to sustainable energy through investment from the sale of fossil fuels but countries like Russia simply sell the stuff with no attempt to make real changes.

It’s going to be a massive problem to try and elicit some sort of commitment and change in mentality from these countries. In the meantime, the planet is getting warmer and climate change is looking very real as there are many signs across the globe that it is already happening.

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Post Category: Climate change > fossil fuels