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Arab Group voices ‘gratitude’ after UN deal on fossil fuels

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The Arab bloc praised the outcome of the UN climate summit on Wednesday, calling it a “great success” after nations adopted a call to transition away from fossil fuels but stopped short of a phase-out.

Saudi official Albara Tawfiq, speaking on behalf of the group, voiced “gratitude” for the COP28 talks.

“On behalf of the Arab Group, I express our gratitude to the efforts of all the state parties in order to have a successful first global stocktake,” he said.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil producer, strongly opposed mentioning a “phase-out” or “phase-down” of fossil fuels in the text.

The final agreement omitted those phrases, calling for “transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly and equitable manner”.

“We must use every opportunity to reduce emissions regardless of the source. We must use all technologies to this effect,” Tawfiq said.

Saudi Arabia and other oil powers have long supported targeting emissions from fossil fuels rather than the fuels themselves, touting the possibilities of carbon-capture technology.

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