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UK softens stance on fossil fuels ahead of COP28 summit

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

Illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Politico or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: The UK has indicated a shift in its approach to fossil fuel policies ahead of the COP28 climate summit
• Energy and Climate Minister Graham Stuart stated that the UK's focus is not on whether countries agree to "phasing down" or "phasing out" fossil fuels, but rather on ensuring that any COP agreement translates into real action

🔭 The context: This change marks a significant departure from the EU's tougher stance on fossil fuels 
• The UK's revised position follows Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's announcement last month about rolling back key net zero targets, though maintaining the aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The distinction between "phasing down" and "phasing out" fossil fuels is a contentious issue in climate negotiations
• The EU, advocating for a "phase out," aligns with the G7 agreement to accelerate the phase-out of unabated fossil fuels
However, countries like China and oil-producing nations like Saudi Arabia find the "phase out" goal unrealistic

⏭️ What's next: The UK's softened stance, especially after announcing plans to accelerate oil and gas drilling licenses in the North Sea, raises concerns about its commitment as a global leader in climate action
• This shift could have significant implications for the upcoming COP28 negotiations

💬 One quote: "Our belief is that we should focus on phasing down, phasing out, whatever it does, so long as it translates into real action [on] unabated fossil fuels" (Graham Stuart)

📈 One stat: The UK, previously aligned with the EU in COP negotiations, will now be part of the "umbrella group" which includes the U.S., Canada, and Australia, indicating a potential change in its negotiation strategy at COP28

Click for more news covering the latest on COP28

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