Major Companies Team Up to ask COP28 to Phase Out Fossil Fuels

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by | Oct 24, 2023

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Numerous companies have banded together to pen a letter ahead of the COP28 — the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference — to urge governments to address the burning of fossil fuels in their efforts to mitigate climate change.

The Fossil to Clean letter asks global policymakers to decarbonize the global energy system and ramp up clean energy “as fast as we phase out the use and production of fossil fuels.” The letter comes just after the European Council called for carbon neutrality by phasing out fossil fuels and increasing renewable energy capacity. The EU hopes COP28 negotiations will focus on fossil fuels to promote a green transition.

The 131 companies that signed the letter represent $987 billion in global annual revenue. Among the signatories are pharma giants AstraZeneca and Bayer, Ikea, Nesté, Unilever, Volvo, and more.

“Our businesses are feeling the impacts and cost of increasing extreme weather events resulting from climate change,” the businesses stated in the letter.

Points of Action

The letter urged policymakers to take several steps to address the underlying cause of climate change, noting that financial institutions, fossil fuel producers, and governments have roles to play. Specifically, the letter asks financial institutions and policymakers to work together with them to ensure capital is allocated toward the clean energy transition and create a financial system that supports future growth and returns “for people and planet.” 

The letter addresses fossil fuel producers to set science-based, net-zero targets and develop and publish transition plans to decarbonize business operations, products, and services. The companies noted the goal to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and shift investments away from fossil fuels toward clean energy and “enable a net-zero global energy system by mid-century.”

Governments were called on to set the enabling conditions, policies, regulations, and investments for clean energy investments, with policies targeting the development of affordable and reliable near-term alternatives to fossil fuels. The letter further addressed governments, asking for all governments to set targets and timelines to phase out fossil fuels in line with the 1.5-degree Celsius goal outlined in the Paris Agreement.

Plus, the companies asked for:

  • Governments to achieve 100% decarbonized power systems by 2035 in advanced economies, and by 2040 for other countries
  • Support for countries in the Global South to diversify their energy systems to develop 1.5-degree Celsius-aligned economic pathways
  • Implement a “meaningful price on carbon” that represents the full costs of climate change

COP28 begins Nov. 30 in Dubai.

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