G20’s failure to reach consensus on phasing out fossil fuels leaves COP28 at risk of failure – VP Jagdeo

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The recent G20 meeting in India concluded without leaders reaching a consensus on two crucial issues: phasing out fossil fuels and fulfilling the US$100 billion per year promise to support climate adaptation and mitigation in developing countries. This failure came about due to objections raised by some of the producer nations.

Guyana’s Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo expressed deep concern over this development, seeing it as a troubling sign for the world. He feared that if this kind of thinking pervades the 28th United Nations Conference of Parties (COP28) scheduled for later this year in Dubai, it could lead to a further setback in achieving net zero by 2050. 

He said he fears a repeat of the G20 situation… “where you have a confrontation between those who believe that you don’t need to phase down fossil fuel production at this stage, because there is a global demand for fossil fuel and it’s growing, and those who believe that you have to not just phase it down, but phase it out.”

“And that is why, if that continues and that debate is taken to the next COP in that manner, it will fail,” the vice President stated.

During a recent press conference, Jagdeo voiced his worries about the G20’s inability to reach a consensus, despite countries like the USA and China being responsible for 75-80% of global greenhouse gas emissions. 

Guyana is already where the world is hoping to get by 2050 – Jagdeo | OilNOW 

Jagdeo stood firm on supporting the net-zero target, having fought for it long before his country started producing oil and gas. He stressed that this target remains crucial to Guyana’s commitment.

Highlighting Guyana’s role in the fight for a just energy transition, Jagdeo who once held the title of Champion of the Earth pointed out that the country’s forests allow it to be a net carbon sink. Even with maximum oil production via 10 floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) units, he reminded that Guyana’s credentials as a responsible player in climate action would remain intact. 

The Vice President also lamented that such achievements are not adequately recognised locally. He pointed out that while some believed the government’s efforts are insufficient in helping to avert a potential global disaster, he was keen to stress that the countries responsible for most of the global emissions are not taking decisive actions and ought to be held to account. Without their commitment to tough decisions, achieving net zero would be at risk.

Oil producer Guyana is first country in the world to be issued jurisdictional carbon credits | OilNOW 

Considering the outcome of the G20 meeting, Jagdeo expressed fear that COP28 might not yield significant progress. He admitted feeling less optimistic about the upcoming conference but remained determined for Guyana to attend and push for more comprehensive solutions and ideas to be put on the table.

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