COP 28: fossil fuel phase out – what countries are actually saying in normal human language

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We spotted this on Twitter and thought that it sounded horribly accurate; it really sets out just what we are up against…
Romain, who describes himself as a grumpy Parisian, campaigns with Oil Change International to accelerate the end of the fossil fuel era.

Sitting in tonight’s Global Stock Take (GST) negotiations on fossil fuel phase out at COP 28. Here is what countries are saying, using normal human language:

Iraq: phasing out fossil fuels would wreck our economy. It’s a big no for me.

EU: your word salad on fossil fuels is not good enough, we would like a better, science-aligned word salad.

Russia: niet. Natural gas is great and we need more.

Samoa: if we don’t phase out fossil fuels, we will literally disappear. We would very much like not to disappear.

Saudi Arabia: the Paris Agreement is about emissions, not the sources of emissions. We have a lot of sources of emissions (fossil fuels) so we would very much like to continue selling them.

Canada: so we’re a petro-state but we’re also nice so we’re ok to phase out fossil fuels but our oil and gas industry really likes CCS so we kind of like it too.

USA: we all went to Columbia law school so let us teach you about international law, you idiots.

Oman (Arab group): let me use complicated language on sectoral targets to explain to you why I really really want to continue producing oil.

Australia: we very recently started caring about climate change but we export a shit ton of coal and gas so let me talk about ambition without mentioning fossil fuels.

Egypt: we’re gonna need a whole lot of cash to transition away from fossil fuels.

Holy See: Pope Francis is a crypto-communist who says we need to phase out fossil fuels so let’s do that.

Chair: let me crush your soul by reading you the list of 40 parties who want to take the floor to make “short” interventions.

Zambia: y’all got some nerve asking us to phase out fossil fuels when you’re not providing any money. How about you phase out first and pay up, then we can talk.

Switzerland: we chair a group called “Environmental Integrity Group” because we’re better than you. We would like to phase out fossil fuels, but we’d like to keep our money, if that’s alright.

Chair: yo, it’s late, we all want to go back to our overpriced hotel rooms overlooking the world’s largest gas power plant, so could you please keep it short.

Brazil: we’re gonna become the fourth largest producer of oil in the world and join OPEC+ but Lula wants to be the hero of the Global South so let me yell at the US.

Fiji: I really want to leave so let me pack a 20 min speech in 30 seconds. Also please don’t kill us and phase out fossil fuels asap.

India: f*ck you Global North, you don’t tell me what to do. Also, our PM is really good pal with India’s coal barons so we’re not wild about this whole phasing out thing.

Ecuador: I have a lot of oil and it’s a bit awkward for me right now with the whole referendum thing, so let me talk about forests instead. Forests are really good.

China: y’all are cute. You really think you’re gonna tell me how to run my energy sector? Buy my solar panels and let me burn coal in peace, k? Thanks.

Colombia: green NGOs love us now! F*ck fossil fuels! Choose life! #yolo

Chile: we have a whole lot of lithium. Renewables and EVs need a whole lot of lithium. It’s a match! How about we replace fossil fuels by renewables?

Pakistan: we got bullied into agreeing to phasing down coal in Glasgow, will you please leave us the hell alone?

Japan: we literally have the only automakers in the world that don’t invest in EVs, so would be great if we could call Toyota’s hybrid SUVs “Paris Aligned”.

Marshall Islands: we fought like hell to get 1.5 in the Paris Agreement and y’all clearly don’t give a shit. Will you please phase out fossil fuels already.

Turkiye: renewables? Never heard of her.

Kenya: McKinsey has been telling my President that we need to talk about renewables to make us really popular with European philanthropy so there you go.

Palau: here’s 2 things you can do for me: 1) Phase out fossil fuels asap 2) Stop trying to scam us with your carbon captures and other bullshit tech.

Chair: Well, that was fun. Thank you for spending the last 4 hours repeating positions you only got to express about 78 times.

BTW, we all know the final decision will be made by China, the US and the EU so not sure what we’re doing here.