Draft COP28 Global Stocktake Text Fails to Reflect Science-Aligned Fossil Fuel Phaseout

Statement by Rachel Cleetus, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Dec 11, 2023

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Today at the United Nations annual climate talks, COP28, the Presidency released a new draft text of the Global Stocktake (GST) agreement. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), the draft agreement is deeply flawed, and world leaders must rally to secure a significantly stronger decision in the final stretch.

Below is a statement by Dr. Rachel Cleetus, the policy director and a lead economist for the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“To put it bluntly, the text related to the energy package that we’ve waited all day to see is extremely disappointing, concerning, and nowhere close to the level of ambition people around the world deserve. Invoking science, as so many leaders are doing, comes with a serious responsibility to put forward language that actually reflects it. This draft comes with a huge qualifier of ‘could’ at the top that makes all the listed actions optional for nations. It has a laundry list of actions filled with glaring loopholes, including a lack of meaningful timelines, especially in this critical decade. The science is irrefutable and people around the world have a clear demand: the fossil fuel era must be phased out, starting now. The latest GST text is riddled with the evidence of world leaders succumbing to the perverse influence of the fossil fuel industry and petrostates instead of choosing to safeguard a livable future for people and the planet. In these final hours, we urge world leaders to deliver the real action we came here to secure.”