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The stage was set for difficult diplomatic negotiations at COP28 as debate over the future of fossil fuels picked up.
Saudi Arabia said it won’t agree to a phase down of the use of dirty energy, raising questions for many over the energy industry’s contribution to fight climate change. It came hours before the release of a new draft text Tuesday that proposed two clashing options for the future of fossil fuels.
Separately, US climate envoy John Kerry criticized some American oil companies, singling out Chevron Corp., for not doing enough to combat global warming at the Bloomberg Green summit on Tuesday. Billionaire investor Ray Dalio said rising interest rates have made it harder to get climate projects off the ground.
The conference has had some breakthroughs. More than 120 countries committed to triple global renewables capacity by the end of the decade, while rich states have promised hundreds of millions of dollars to compensate poorer nations for the affects of climate change. Some of the biggest companies have also signed up to cut emissions from their own operations.
Read more: What Is COP28 and Why Is It Important?
(All times Dubai.)
China’s CNPC to Inject More CO2 Underground (3:00 pm)
China National Petroleum Corp., the country’s largest oil producer, inject over 1.37 million tons a year of carbon dioxide underground in 2023, up from 1.11 million tons last year. It’s a sign the the nation’s companies are pushing ahead with carbon capture, utilisation and storage programs.
This year’s injections are expected to take CNPC’s cumulative amount to more than 7 million tons of CO2, Yong Ruisheng, a top engineer at the company, told a conference at COP28. The injections will help with enhanced oil recovery, he said.
CNPC’s joint CCUS project with the state-owned power generation company China Huaneng Group in Gansu province is expected to be completed by the end of 2024 with an annual capacity of 1.5 million tons of CO2, said Huaneng’s senior engineer Gao Shiwang. The per-ton capturing cost is lower than $35, he said.
European Commission, Brazil Joins Offshore Wind Pledge (2:08 p.m.)
The European Commission, Brazil and Panama were among new signatories to the Global Offshore Wind Alliance, which aims to install at least 380 gigawatts of installed capacity by 2030, rising to 2,000 gigawatts by the middle of the century. They join the likes of the US and UK in the Denmark-led initiative.
Danish Minister Defends Al Jaber on Fossil Fuels (1:29 a.m.)
Dan Jorgensen, the Danish climate minister who is co-facilitating the global stocktake process at COP28, defended the summit’s President Sultan Al Jaber over reports that he questioned the science that a phase out of fossil fuels would limit temperature rises to 1.5C.
“At none of the many meetings and talks we have had has he ever spoken against a science-based approach to climate change and never denied the science,” Jorgensen said. “On the contrary, he has said that the phase-down and the phase-out of fossil fuel is inevitable. In fact, it is essential. Let that guide our further negotiations.”
Tripling Renewables Capacity Is Right Priority: Total CEO (12:19 p.m.)
An agreement to triple renewables globally by 2030 and to double the pace of energy efficiency “is the right priority,” TotalEnergies SE Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.
For now, making green hydrogen and green ammonia using low-carbon electricity “is more expensive,” so the focus should be on power generation, he said. Carbon capture or offsets are also essential because some industries, such as cement manufacturers, will always generate some CO2, he said.
“If we want to be net zero, we need to find carbon sinks,” Pouyanne said.
Dalio Calls UAE’s Alterra Fund ‘Wonderful Template’ (11:42 a.m.)
Ray Dalio said the only way to unlock the up to $10 trillion a year needed in climate investments is to make green solutions profitable.
The Bridgewater Associates founder said the UAE’s newly announced Alterra climate fund, which aims to mobilize $250 billion by the end of the decade, is a “wonderful template.” BlackRock Inc., Brookfield and TPG are inaugural launch partners.
Still, Dalio noted climate change is an expensive problem and investors have a limit: global GDP is only $100 trillion. “We are living in a world that doesn’t have enough money,” he said at the Bloomberg Green summit in Dubai on Tuesday.
US to Back Pledge to Cut Emissions From Cooling (11:17 a.m.)
The US will join more than 60 countries in backing a pledge to slash cooling-related emissions across all sectors by at least 68% globally by 2050 from 2022 levels, according to people familiar with the matter. The United Arab Emirates, host of this year’s summit, is also likely to join, the people said.
The pledge, which will be officially launched later Tuesday, will also commit signatories to boosting the energy efficiency of air conditioning equipment and establish minimum performance standards by the end of the decade. The use of cooling technologies are expected to increase as countries try to adapt to a warming planet.
Kerry Blasts Oil Firms for Slow Climate Action (10:58 a.m.)
US climate envoy John Kerry criticized some oil producers for not doing enough to combat planetary warming, singling out Chevron for particular scrutiny.
“We have no real evidence that they and a lot of others are doing what every company needs to do,” Kerry said at the Bloomberg Green summit at COP28 on Tuesday. “We’ve got to be honest here with each other — everybody — and that requires the oil and gas companies to lead.”
Chevron did not join a decarbonization charter unveiled at COP28 that would commit the firm to slashing methane emissions to near-zero levels and halt flaring natural gas by the end of the decade. The company also hasn’t ponied up funding or technical support for a new World Bank grant fund meant to help rivals in developing nations stem their own methane releases.
Six other oil companies provided $25 million each, and Exxon Mobil Corp. is working on a plan to offer on-the-ground training and other expertise, Kerry said.
Read: Chevron, Exxon Opt Out of Funding COP28 Methane-Cutting Fund
Asked what more Chevron can do, “everything,” Kerry said. “You can’t be outside of this initiative.”
Spokespeople for Chevron did not respond to emailed requests for comment sent outside normal working hours in the US.
Record Number of Fossil Fuel Lobbyists (9:15 a.m.)
At least 2,456 representatives of the fossil fuel industry have been given access to COP28, according to an analysis by the Kick Big Polluters Out pressure group. It’s four times higher than in Sharm El Sheikh last year, and if they were a country delegation, would almost be the size of Brazil’s — the second largest at this year’s COP after the UAE.
New Text Shows Fight Over Carbon Capture, Coal (8:50 a.m.)
A couple of other interesting points to note on the text. One of the options contains a clear reference to boost the role of carbon capture and storage this decade, as well as so-called “low-carbon” hydrogen production — which also refers to capturing emissions.
Countries like Saudi Arabia have been pushing the technology as a potential solution to emissions in the energy sector, while developed country negotiating blocs, like the EU, say that it should only be used to help decarbonize the most emissions-intensive sectors.
There’s also a strong option on coal, building off the landmark agreement to phase down unabated use of the fossil fuel at COP26 in Glasgow. This version is amped up to say that countries should undertake a “rapid phase out of unabated coal power this decade and an immediate cessation of the permitting of new unabated coal power generation.” The other option would be to delete it, according to the draft text.
Countries would also be pushed to put forward climate pledges covering all sectors in their economies, and all greenhouse gases, according to the draft.
Clash on Fossil Fuel Future in New Draft (8:48 a.m.)
The new draft offers two clashing options, though both embrace some kind of phase out of fossil fuels. It’s in keeping with the demands of many developing and vulnerable countries, and also aligned with phrasing encouraged by the EU, US and other rich nations.
The document is the result of days of talks on what should be part of the so-called stocktake of the world’s progress in cutting emissions.
One option comes with no strings attached, applicable to all fossil fuels, without being conditioned on abatement technology or any just transition. It calls for an “orderly and just phase out of fossil fuels.”
Monday’s update: COP28 Latest: Kerry Tells Big Emitters They Can No Longer Hide
An alternative approach is more nuanced. It would call upon parties to take further action this decade, “accelerating efforts toward phasing out unabated fossil fuels” while “rapidly reducing their use so as to achieve net zero CO2 in energy systems by or around mid-century.”
That’s a new formulation — a hybrid of offerings from the US, EU and other countries that are trying to find a narrow landing zone between the countries demanding greater action and some oil-rich nations who’ve resisted. Hours before the text dropped, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister made clear the kingdom wouldn’t agree to language calling for the phase down of fossil fuels, highlighting the challenge.
Fossil Fuel Emissions to Hit New Peak This Year (4:01 a.m.)
The Global Carbon Project, an international collaboration of scientists, estimates that worldwide carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels will rise 1.1% this year over 2022, to 36.8 billion metric tons. That’s a new peak and 1.4% higher than the level in 2019, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The planet is on track to exceed its carbon budget for 1.5C of warming around 2030, and the budget for 1.7C in 15 years, according to the group’s Global Carbon Budget annual report, released as talks continue at the COP28 climate conference in Dubai.
--With assistance from Malaika Kanaaneh Tapper, Siobhan Wagner and James Herron.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.