If we don’t end the use of fossil fuels, it will be a “death sentence” for millions of people worldwide, warns the Swedish climate extremist Greta Thunberg, who urges politicians to take more ambitious measures.
It will be impossible for us to stick to the 1.5 degree limit without a quick and fair phasing out of fossil fuels, Thunberg said at a press conference.
She was referring to the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, in which world leaders committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently to prevent the Earth’s temperature from rising by more than 1.5 to 2 degrees.
If we don’t do it, it will be a death sentence for countless people, she said in connection with the UN-led climate negotiations in Bonn.
It is already a death sentence for countless people living on the front line of the climate crisis, she added.
Scientists and climate activists are advocating for a faster development of renewable energy and a phasing out of oil, coal and gas, since these energy sources account for a significant proportion of greenhouse gas emissions, writes the AP news agency.
They want world leaders to agree to phase out fossil fuels at the UN climate talks in Dubai, or at COP28 at the end of 2023, after failing at the summits in Glasgow in 2021 and in Sharm El-Sheikh in 2022.
But the major oil and gas exporters are keen to shift their focus further downstream, arguing that the world can reduce carbon emissions without getting rid of the fossil fuels that generate them.
Activists disagree with this and are also concerned about the choice of an oil giant boss to lead the COP28 climate summit in the United Arab Emirates from 30 November to 12 December.
Kenyan climate campaigner Eric Njuguna said at the press conference in Bonn that the appointment of Sultan Al Jaber, the head of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, to lead the climate negotiations in Dubai is like letting “a mosquito lead the fight against malaria”.
Dr Jaber acknowledged last week that a reduction in the use of fossil fuels is “inevitable”.
But he defended the COP28 roadmap, which contains a “global target to triple the use of renewable energy, double energy efficiency and double the use of clean hydrogen by 2030”, but has no explicit promise to end fossil fuels.