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DUBAI: The Mean Business Coalition, a business-centric non-profit working to accelerate climate action globally, is demanding immediate action from governments to phase out fossil fuels.

In a letter to COP28 president and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company CEO Sultan Al-Jaber, the group said, “Our businesses are feeling the impacts and cost of increasing extreme weather events resulting from climate change. […] To decarbonise the global energy system, we need to ramp up clean energy as fast as we phase out the use and production of fossil fuels.

“This means turbocharging the renewables revolution, electrifying key sectors and massively improving efficiency — thereby creating the conditions for a rapid, well-managed and just transition away from fossil fuels. […]

“We call on all Parties attending COP28 to seek outcomes that will lay the groundwork to transform the global energy system towards a phase-out of unabated fossil fuels and halve emissions this decade.”

The letter was signed by 206 corporations including Sony, Roche, Tetra Pak, Virgin Media O2, DHL, AstraZeneca, ACCIONA, Bayer, BT, Mahindra, IKEA, Iberdrola, JLL, Heineken, Danone, Nestle, Deutsche Telekom, eBay, Electrolux, Royal Philips, Scania Group, Volvo Cars, Signify, Unilever, Vodafone, E.ON SE, WHSmith, Michelin, Inditex and Coca Cola Europacific Partners.

“If we are serious about limiting global heating to 1.5°C, it is vital governments include a phase-out of unabated fossil fuels in the final negotiated outcomes at COP28,” said Coalition CEO Maria Mendiluce. “We can do this. Let's be very clear: the science and economics show that we can phase out fossil fuels in an orderly way that is better for the economy, security, health and therefore people. More than 200 companies representing $1.5 trillion of revenue already agree on this. Governments should follow suit.”

“We call on all Parties attending COP28 to seek outcomes that will lay the groundwork to transform the global energy system towards a phase-out of unabated fossil fuels and halve emissions this decade,” she continued.

As COP28 nears its negotiation mid-point, the first draft of the UN Global Stocktake text has been released. The Coalition said the negotiated outcomes must include a phase-out of unabated fossil fuels to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C.  

“As emissions continue to rise, it is simply not credible to talk about keeping to 1.5°C without a plan to phase out fossil fuels. Fossil fuels account for roughly 80 percent of global energy supply, a figure that has barely changed in almost 30 years since the first COP in Berlin in 1995.”

The letter was organised by the Coalition and supported by Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), Ceres, Climate Group, Corporate Leaders Group in Europe and the UK, The B Team, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, (WBCSD), Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), the WWF, Exponential Roadmap Initiative, Global Renewables Alliance and UNICEF.
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