Most high-income countries, particularly the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom, have opposed the removal of ‘fossil fuel phase-out’ from the COP28 Global Stocktake (GST) text. In reality, these countries are opposing a ‘just and equitable phase-out’, wherein they would be required to lead the way in phasing out fossil fuels. These countries still rely on fossil fuels to meet most of their primary energy demands and continue to expand their oil and gas production.
Anticipating a simultaneous phase-out of fossil fuels in the developing world alongside the developed world raises concerns about fairness and justice, particularly considering that the developing nations are still striving to attain sustainable development goals. However, for a successful worldwide phase-out of fossil fuels, it is crucial for the developed world to agree on disparate timelines and make concrete commitments to enhance climate finance. Without such cooperation, any resistance to the proposed COP28 text lacks justification.