In a deja vu moment for UN climate change conferences, participating nations are once again quarreling about whether to demand a full phase-out of fossil fuels, a claim Saudi Arabia already denounced as unrealistic, OilPrice reported.

Climate change watchers have lashed out at the president of COP28 Sultan al-Jaber for saying the world cannot afford to go “back into caves” and it needs fossil energy for sustainable development, a claim they allege contradicts the UN’s own agenda.

The COP28 summit has so far managed to formalize a pledge to triple global renewables capacity by the end of this decade, create a climate disaster fund and cut cooling-related emissions by at least 68% globally by 2050.

More than 2,400 delegates at the COP28 summit were representing the oil, gas and coal industries, almost five times more than at the previous summit in Glasgow, triggering the ire of environmentalists that accuse them of lobbying against much-needed measures.

The second draft of the COP28 final agreement circulated amongst participants shows the summit is considering calling for an “orderly and just” phase-out of fossil fuels, though COP27’s call for phasing out “unabated” fossil fuels might prevail again. 22 nations comprising the US, Canada, France, and even Japan have committed to triple the world’s nuclear capacity by 2050 compared to 2020 levels, acknowledging the “key role” of nuclear power in reaching net zero global emissions. 

Macroeconomic factors continue to weigh on oil prices this week, despite the insistence of OPEC+ members that the group’s production cuts will tighten the oil market. Members of the OPEC+ group continue to insist that the 2024 production targets allocated last week will have an impact on oil markets, only to receive lukewarm acknowledgment from market participants. A rebound in US refining last week is more likely to trigger some bullish momentum than Saudi Arabia or Russia, with ICE Brent currently trading around $79 per barrel, although the continuous stream of weak macroeconomic data limits the upside for now.

Brazilian President Lula da Silva said the Latin American country will never be a full member of OPEC and only strives to have an observer’s role in the group, alleging that Brazil wants to influence the policy of the world’s largest oil producers.