China and Saudi Arabia seek to block anti-fossil fuel language in UN climate deal

China and Saudi Arabia are among a group of countries seeking to prevent Scotland’s UN climate deal from including language opposing fossil fuel subsidies, according to two sources close to the negotiations.

The issue of oil, gas and coal subsidies has become a major sticking point at the summit, where negotiators have already passed Friday’s deadline to reach an agreement aimed at keeping alive the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Existing drafts of the deal negotiated over the past two weeks would call for governments to withdraw public financial support for fossil fuels, which scientists say are the main drivers of man-made climate change.

US special envoy for climate John Kerry said at the summit on Friday that trying to curb global warming as governments spend hundreds of billions of dollars to support the fuels that cause it was “a definition of insanity. “.

Other Western nations, including members of the European Union and Britain, are also pushing to keep the reference to removing fossil fuel subsidies.

The two sources, who asked not to be named because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the talks, said China and Saudi Arabia were pushing for the language to be removed.

Efforts to reach the Saudi Arabian and Chinese delegations on Friday night were unsuccessful.

CHINESE PRESIDENT Xi Jinping gives a toast on the eve of the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, in Beijing on September 30 (credit: REUTERS).

China, the world’s top greenhouse gas emitter, is a major producer of oil and coal. Earlier this week, China announced a joint agreement with the United States at the Glasgow summit to intensify its ambitions to fight climate change, including accelerating the gradual reduction of coal this decade and reducing methane emissions.

Saudi Arabia is a major oil producer and the de facto head of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud told the conference earlier this week that a deal to combat climate change should not target any particular energy source, arguing that emissions can reduced by other means.

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