As the world's eyes turn towards the final stages of negotiations at COP28, international tensions are rising, particularly against oil-producing countries. Key players such as Spanish Minister for Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, and French Minister for Energy Transition, Agnes Pannier-Runacher, have openly expressed their frustration towards OPEC countries for their resistance to establishing climate goals.
The Secretary-General of OPEC from Kuwait has called upon its members to outright reject any agreement that targets fossil fuels in climate negotiations. This stance has ignited a wave of reactions in Dubai where the future of fossil fuels has become a central debate topic at COP28. The call for the phase-out of fossil fuels by nations worldwide has been met with staunch opposition by some countries, including major oil producers such as Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Voice of the Vulnerable
Tina Stege, the climate envoy for the Marshall Islands, castigated fossil fuels as a threat to the prosperity and future of all people, including OPEC citizens. Small island nations, which bear the brunt of rising sea levels due to global warming, were represented strongly by Samoan Minister Cedric Schuster, the chair of the alliance of small island states (Aosis).
He expressed deep concern over the slow progress of negotiations, a sentiment echoed by German climate envoy Jennifer Morgan, who called for constructive participation from all countries.