Phasing out fossil fuels is among the options participants at the COP28 are considering as part of the final agreement at the climate summit, reported Reuters.

The proposal is expected to provoke intense discussion among the nearly 200 nations present at the two-week meeting in Dubai.

Several nations insist on fossil fuels maintaining a role in the economy, while more than 100 are in favour of an agreement progressively phasing out their use.

Scientists are concerned that attempts to address climate change may not be sufficient to prevent its worst impacts, as research suggests that CO₂ emissions from burning fossil fuels are expected to reach a record high globally this year.

The UN climate body published a draft of what may be the final COP28 accord, and it includes three options for dealing with fossil fuels.

First, “an orderly and just phase-out” is suggested. In UN jargon, the word “just” implies that wealthier countries with a lengthy fossil fuel history will phase out fossil fuel use sooner than others.

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By GlobalData

Under the second, “accelerating efforts towards phasing out unabated fossil fuels” are demanded. In the third, there would be no mention of a phase-out whatsoever.

There is also wording in the draft text that calls for increasing the use of carbon capture technology.

The EU, the US and tiny island nations that are vulnerable to climate change are advocating for the phase-out of fossil fuels.

Large producers such as Russia and Saudi Arabia have opposed previous calls for a phase-out.

Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the president of COP28 and the CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, has claimed that there is “no science” supporting the idea that the phase-out of fossil fuels is a crucial step in mitigating the effects of climate change.

The CEOs of several key energy companies have also defended oil and gas on the COP28 main stage, pointing to their advancements in areas such as reducing the greenhouse gas methane.

Earlier this week, 50 oil and gas companies joined the Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter at COP28 as signatories.

Achieving net zero by 2050, doing away with routine flaring and zeroing out methane emissions by 2030 are among the common objectives included in the charter.