Monthly eNewsletter from the IADC

Washington, D.C., Updates for January 2024

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United Nations summit adopts world-first “transition” from fossil fuels!

The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties, more commonly known as COP28, was recently held from 30 November to 13 December in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The purpose of the event is for governments to agree on policies that limit global temperature rises and to adapt to the impacts associated with climate change. The nearly 200 nations that met in Dubai—the United States included—approved a first-ever call for the world to transition away from fossil fuels.

The agreement calls for “transitioning” away from fossil fuels in energy systems in a just, orderly, and equitable manner, aiming to accelerate action in this critical decade to achieve net zero by 2050. The goal is to completely negate the amount of greenhouse gases produced by human activity, to be achieved by reducing emissions and implementing methods of absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This agreement is the first in the 28-year history of climate summits to emphasize the reduction of all greenhouse gases. It further calls for tripling renewable energy development and doubling energy efficiency.

This all comes at a time when the United States’ position as the world’s leading oil and gas producer has strengthened in recent months, and the nation is on track to extract more oil and gas than ever before in 2023 and 2024. The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently reported that American oil output hit an all-time high of 13.2 million barrels per day in September of this year, surpassing other producers.

The unprecedented agreement reached at the COP28 climate summit is unlikely to prompt a dramatic upheaval in the U.S. energy landscape. The agreement is not legally binding for participating nations, and its significance for the U.S. under the Biden Administration may be more symbolic than practical.