A new draft agreement unveiled in talks in Dubai has toughened language by calling for "transitioning away" from fossil fuels, although it does not use the term "phase-out".
The document recognised on Wednesday "the need for deep, rapid and sustained reductions in GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions in line with 1.5C pathways" and called upon nations to take actions, including:
"(a) Tripling renewable energy capacity globally and doubling the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030;
(b) Rapidly phasing down unabated coal and limiting the permitting of new and unabated coal power generation;
(c) Accelerating efforts globally towards net zero emissions energy systems, utilising zero and low carbon fuels well before or by around mid-century;
(d) Transitioning away from fossil fuels in our energy systems, beginning in this decade, in a just, orderly and equitable manner so as to achieve net zero by 2050 in keeping with the science;
(e) Accelerating zero and low emissions technologies, including, among other things, renewables, nuclear, abatement and removal technologies, such as carbon capture and utilisation and storage, particularly in hard-to-abate sectors and low carbon hydrogen production, so as to enhance efforts towards substitution of unabated fossil fuels in energy systems.
(f) Accelerating and substantially reducing non-CO2 emissions, including, in particular, methane emissions globally by 2030;
(g) Accelerating emissions reductions from road transport through a range of pathways, including the development of infrastructure and rapid deployment of zero-emission vehicles;
(h) Phasing out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that do not address energy poverty or just transitions as soon as possible."
Discussions during the 14 days of talks in Dubai, a metropolis built on oil wealth, had revolved around how far to go and whether to make a historic call to wind down oil, gas and coal, the main culprits in the planet's rapid heating.