The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Kim Bryan / responds to OPEC chief urging members to reject any COP28 deal that targets fossil fuels


This Friday, major global press outlets leaked a letter from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) asking its members to reject any possible agreement at COP28 that mentions the phaseout of fossil fuels. This possibility would allow a series of maneuvers to postpone the elimination of oil, gas and coal and guarantee the continuity of the exorbitant profits of the companies in the sector.

We must not allow dangerous distractions to take over COP28. We must guarantee that the COP28 final text explicitly calls for the phaseout of fossil fuels.

Cansın Leylim, Associate Director of Global Campaigns:

"OPEC's desperate resistance to a fossil fuel phaseout reveals their fear of a changing tide, evident in COP28 discussions. As 106 nations rally for a rapid fossil fuel decline, the draft text of the Global Stocktake offers hope with several options for a phaseout of fossil fuels. OPEC needs to get with the program or move out of the way of our just transition to a 100% renewable energy powered future. COP28 was supposed to be the most inclusive of climate talks, yet fossil fuel lobbyists have found shelter, and are trying to block progress. The spotlight is now on the COP28's Presidency and if they will broker a deal for a just transition or instead align themselves with the oil industry."

Peri Dias, representative from Latin America at COP28:

"The world is noticing Brazil's juggling act to reconcile its image as a climate leader abroad while expanding oil and gas at home. The announcement of Brazil's participation in the OPEC+ group and, now, the letter showing OPEC's call to its member states to reject a fossil fuel phaseout at COP28 further highlights this contradiction.

The double standard is burning the moral capital that President Lula built in this first year of his new mandate, thanks to his good measures to curb deforestation in the Amazon and rebuild environmental enforcement agencies after four years of the disastrous Bolsonaro government. His hesitation to leave fossil fuels in the past is undermining the country's chances of leading the world in the environmental area, where it has the greatest potential for global projection.

It will be much more productive if Brazil abandons this distraction and focuses on playing a more assertive role in the negotiations: It should push for the final text to mention a fast, funded, and full phaseout of fossil fuels. COP30 will be a great opportunity for Brazil to shine globally, but if the country does not use all its weight to advocate for a strong outcome at this year’s COP, it will be harder to achieve historic advances at the COP in Brazil in 2025.”

350 is building a future that's just, prosperous, equitable and safe from the effects of the climate crisis. We're an international movement of ordinary people working to end the age of fossil fuels and build a world of community-led renewable energy for all.