The COP28 approved a final document where the term “phase out” is out. Instead, the text speaks about “transition away” from fossil sources—until 2050. The Climatist lobby is making the best out of a bad situation, for instance Al Gore, who nevertheless complained that this is “the bare minimum” and protested against so-called “petrostates.”
“The decision at COP28 to finally recognize that the climate crisis is, at its heart, a fossil fuel crisis is an important milestone,” Gore tweeted. “But it is also the bare minimum we need and is long overdue. The influence of petrostates is still evident in the half measures and loopholes included in the final agreement. Fossil fuel interests went all out to control the outcome, but the passionate work of millions of climate activists around the world inspired and motivated delegates from many nations to loosen the industry’s grip. Whether this is a turning point that truly marks the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era depends on the actions that come next and the mobilization of finance required to achieve them.”
The Malthusian flop at COP28 reflects the growing influence of the Global South on world affairs. An example of the changed atmosphere is given by an Italian participant, who wrote:
“In a panel at the Net Zero Nuclear Summit, which was held in parallel with the COP on Dec. 7-8, a presenter tried to show the magnitude of the challenge [of decarbonization] by giving the example of steel: projections see demand for this very important material growing by 2050 to 2.5 billion tons/year (today it is at 1.8 billion). The steelmaking process first requires the reduction of Iron oxide, which can be done either through carbon (producing CO2) or through hydrogen (producing water vapor, but you need clean hydrogen); in the next step you need heat at very high temperature, which can be achieved in a blast furnace (again, producing CO2) or in an electric arc furnace (but you need clean electricity).
“Just to decarbonize the entire world steel production by 2050 the world would need nearly nine hundred 1 GW nuclear reactors, or, alternatively, an area twice the size of Sardinia entirely covered with solar panels (plus associated storage). If world steel production were a state, it would be the second largest in the world in terms of energy consumption, behind China and ahead of the U.S.”