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COP27: Energy crisis leaves fossil fuel phase-out clubs struggling to recruit – Reuters

The receiver station of the Druzhba oil pipeline between Hungary and Russia is seen at the Hungarian MOL Group’s Danube Refinery in Szazhalombatta, Hungary, May 18, 2022. (Bernadett Szabo/Reuters)

Kate Abnett and Shadia Nasralla, Reuters

energiesNet.com 11 17 2022

An alliance committed to banning new domestic oil and gas drilling added Portugal as a member at the COP27 climate talks on Wednesday, but big fossil fuel producers stayed away as the world reels from energy turmoil caused by the Ukraine war.

The Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA) presents itself as a club of first movers to phase out the production of oil and gas in line with targets to avert severe climate change, although none of its members has significant production.

Apart from Portugal, it includes Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Ireland, Sweden and Wales, plus Greenland, Washington State and the Canadian province Quebec.

Denmark, leader of the group, acknowledged a renewed focus on energy security this year, as disruption caused by major oil and gas producer Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has seen countries racing to buy non-Russian gas and in some cases burning more coal to replace plummeting Russian gas deliveries.

“Over the past year, our climate leadership has been tested in many ways,” said Dan Jorgensen, acting climate and energy minister for Denmark.

“We are not calling for any sudden disruption of energy supplies, but we must equally recognise that the energy crisis is driven by the dependency on fossil fuels,” he said.

The alliance said it will also start providing analysis and advice to developing countries on policies to move away from fossil fuel production, setting aside $10 million in funding to do so.

The International Energy Agency has said no new oil and gas fields should be developed if the world is to limit global warming to 1.5 Celsius and avoid its worst impacts.

Another alliance designed to limit fossil fuel support has struggled to expand this year.

Nearly 40 countries including the United States, Canada and Germany at last year’s COP26 climate summit committed to stop public financing for fossil fuel projects abroad by the end of 2022.

Reuters Graphics
Reuters Graphics

Countries involved have since attempted to win support from Norway and Australia – so far, without success, although both are discussing the idea.

An event held at the COP27 summit on Tuesday announced one new member – Nepal.

“It’s been really frustrating,” a UK official told Reuters, of efforts to recruit more members to the group, asking not to be named.

Since signing the pledge last year, Denmark, Finland, France and Sweden joined Britain in fixing the commitment into their domestic policies – which the official said was hard-won progress given the context of energy supply concerns.

“We haven’t seen real backsliding, across the board. They are still all pushing ahead,” they said.

For daily comprehensive coverage on COP27 in your inbox, sign up for the Reuters Sustainable Switch newsletter here

Reporting by Kate Abnett and Shadia Nasralla; editing by Barbara Lewis

reuters.com 11 16 2022

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