Firms With Nearly $1 Trillion In Revenue Want Timeline For Fossil Fuel Phase-Out

As many as 131 companies representing nearly $1 trillion in global annual revenue are urging governments to set targets and timelines for the phaseout of unabated fossil fuels.  

Ahead of the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, companies representing $987 billion in global annual revenue including AstraZeneca, Ikea, Bayer, Iberdrola, Heineken, Danone, Ørsted, Volvo Cars, SAP, and Unilever, wrote a letter to the Heads of State who will be attending COP28, calling on “all Parties attending COP28 in Dubai to seek outcomes that will lay the groundwork to transform the global energy system towards a full phase-out of unabated fossil fuels and halve emissions this decade.” 

The companies also call on the leaders to accelerate the clean energy transition by committing to reach 100% decarbonized power systems by 2035 in advanced economies, and by 2040 for other countries, at the latest.

“To decarbonize 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,” the signatories to the letter wrote.

The companies are setting their own emission-reduction targets, but they say that they “cannot make this transition securely or efficiently alone.”

“Financial institutions, fossil fuel producers and governments all have crucial roles to play,” the firms added.

The debate about the phasing out or phasing down of fossil fuels has intensified ahead of the COP28 summit.

Last week, Amin Nasser, CEO of the world’s biggest oil firm and largest crude oil exporter, Saudi Aramco, said that the climate summit and the world should focus the debate on how to cut emissions, not on reducing oil and gas production.

The additional oil and gas demand over the coming decade needs new upstream investments to offset the 5-7% annual decline rates, Nasser noted at the Energy Intelligence Forum last week.

“We need a better dialogue between industry and COP delegates, as industry is the only one capable of delivering new or old energy solutions,” Aramco’s CEO added.