COP28: activists break into OPEC pavilion

Activists briefly burst into the pavilion of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) at COP28 on Sunday, December 10, to call for an exit from fossil fuels

COP28: activists break into OPEC pavilion

Activists briefly burst into the pavilion of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) at COP28 on Sunday, December 10, to call for an exit from fossil fuels.

The activists were invited to sit down before speaking for a few minutes. “We know that OPEC sent a letter to its members asking them to oppose a move away from fossil fuels,” said Nicolas Haeringer, a member of the NGO 350.org, referring to a letter from the secretary general OPEC broadcast on Saturday, "urgently" asking its members to "proactively reject" any agreement targeting fossil fuels.

The distribution of this letter on Saturday sparked strong reactions, including that of the French Minister for Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, who said she was “stunned” by these statements. “There is no single solution or path to achieving a sustainable energy future,” a representative of the OPEC Secretary General declared on Saturday at the COP28.

“For us, having an OPEC pavilion at the COP is like having a huge oil rig in the negotiations,” denounced Mr. Haeringer. “We want a total, fair and rapid exit from fossil fuels,” the activists then chanted before withdrawing.

While negotiations have officially entered into the last forty-eight hours, several options are still on the table, including that of having no mention of fossil fuels in the text of the final agreement, recalled Mr. Haeringer, saying he also wanted to “put pressure”.

Commitments would only reduce emissions by 30% in 2030

“It is now time to move up a gear and reach a consensus,” COP28 President Sultan Al-Jaber said from the podium during a plenary session on Saturday, at the end of a day of of which a new draft agreement on global adaptation goals was made public.

This draft text expresses reservations about the gap between the funds needed for adaptation and those that countries receive, without specifying how much would be necessary for the world to adapt to climate change. It “presents the skeleton of what could be a reasonable framework for the global adaptation goal,” said Ana Mulio Alvarez, a researcher and member of the climate think tank “E3G.” But to be effective, adaptation to climate change “requires developed countries to provide support to developing countries for its implementation,” continues the scientist.

For its part, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimated on Sunday that the non-binding commitments announced at the start of COP28 by more than a hundred countries and oil companies would only achieve 30 by 2030. % of the reduction in energy-related emissions needed to achieve carbon neutrality.

The IEA analyzed the potential impact of two voluntary commitments announced last week: that of 130 countries to triple renewables and improve energy efficiency by 2030, and another signed by around fifty oil companies and gas plants to reduce methane leaks, in particular.

Negotiators are trying to find a way to limit warming to 1.5 degrees above the pre-industrial era, in line with what was agreed in the historic Paris agreement reached at COP21 in 2015.

On Sunday, some observers were cautiously optimistic about progress so far. “We are on the verge of making history,” said Kaisa Kosonen, policy coordinator at Greenpeace International. “I’ve never seen this level of pressure before, with people saying you have to do it. They are finally tackling the root cause of climate change. »