UN Bonn Climate Change Conference: WWF urges progress on global plan to phase out fossil fuels

By World Wide Fund for Nature

UN Bonn Climate Change Conference: WWF urges progress on global plan to phase out fossil fuels

After COP27 failed to make progress on fossil fuels, WWF calls on leaders to back a global plan to phase out all fossil fuels well before 2050, with developed countries achieving this first, and targets for renewables, energy efficiency, and energy access. WWF’s COP28 Expectations paper outlines the essential outcomes from COP28 to maintain the confidence and credibility of the Paris Agreement process.

Governments must use the Bonn Climate Change Conference to drive forward steps to phase out all fossil fuels and demonstrate a step-change in ambition, finance, and implementation of actions that can tackle the climate crisis, according to WWF.

Progress at Bonn will be vital to lay the groundwork for COP28 and the pivotal first Global Stocktake, which will assess and respond to the world’s collective progress toward achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Despite more than 80 countries showing support for a fossil fuels phase-out commitment at COP27, it failed to gain enough backing to be included in the final agreement. WWF is urging negotiators to prioritize this issue. Ending the production and use of fossil fuels and transitioning to 100% renewable energy use is the solution that will have the largest impact at scale on preventing the worst effects of the climate crisis.

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF global climate and energy lead, said: “The world is at a crossroads where choices we make this year will shape the world we will become. Key decisions that we must agree on this year must not be diverted by political headwinds. We are not on track to limit catastrophic temperature rise. We need clear political signals and commitments from our leaders that recover hope and credibility in the negotiations, and put us on track to a greener, fairer, and fossil-free future.”

Fernanda Carvalho, WWF global climate and energy policy head, said: “A failure to act decisively now to end the fossil fuel age will condemn the world to increasingly catastrophic climate disruptions. Governments at the Bonn meeting must work to set the world firmly on course for a breakthrough commitment to phase out all fossil fuels and accelerate the renewables revolution at COP28. A world powered by efficient, clean, and renewable energy systems is possible, secure, and affordable. The science is clear; the longer we wait to act, the more devastating the consequences will be. We don’t have time for more delays and excuses.”

WWF’s COP28 Expectation Paper sets out what negotiators need to prioritize at Bonn, so they can be agreed upon at COP28.

This includes:

  • A phase-out of all fossil fuels and fossil fuel subsidies, and an agreed target for the rapid expansion of renewable energy – especially wind and solar. Plus a target for energy efficiency;
  • A clear roadmap from the Global Stocktake process for how to reset climate ambition in line with sustainable and equitable global pathways to 1.5°C;
  • A comprehensive framework for the Global Goal of Adaptation and mobilization of resources for Adaptation and building climate resilience for vulnerable communities;
  • Operationalizing the Loss and Damage Fund agreed at COP27;
  • Closing the finance gap by finally meeting the goal for developed countries to mobilize USD100 bn per year starting in 2020.

WWF is also calling for negotiators to develop an enhanced climate action implementation strategy. If countries fail to demonstrate at the Global Stocktake that they are taking the necessary action needed to avert catastrophic climate change, it will be a clear sign that new accountability measures are needed for national and sectoral action to put the world back on track to limit warming to 1.5°C.

Mark Lutes, WWF Head of Delegation at the Bonn Climate Change Conference, said: “Targets for emission reductions are essential and should continue to play a central role under the Paris Agreement, but targets are meaningless if they are not backed up by meaningful action. COP28 must be the COP of credibility to restore trust and hope that the world can collectively tackle this catastrophic crisis.”

The UN’s climate science body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has repeatedly made clear that every fraction of a degree of additional warming will increase climatic devastation, putting at risk lives, livelihoods, biodiversity, and cultures of an ever-growing number of people and communities.