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Costa Rica and Denmark announce alliance against fossil fuels

Costa Rica and Denmark announced on Thursday an alliance to stop the exploration and production of oil and gas.

Revealed during the climate change conference (COP26) in Glasgow, the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA) has 12 initial members, including France and Sweden. It is also open to sub-national territories, such as California or Wales, the founders explained at a press conference.

“We have to start this conversation, we have to see concrete measures. We are hearing the world beyond these walls,” said Costa Rican Minister of Environment and Energy, Andrea Meza.

“We hope this will make a big difference. Our ambition is not modest, we hope that today will be the beginning of the end for oil and gas,” added Danish Minister Dan Jorgensen.

The world “demands fewer speeches and more actions,” added the minister.

Countries like Costa Rica do not produce oil, acknowledged the Costa Rican minister. But it has reserves “and the pressure is strong” to exploit them, she said.

“There is no future for oil and gas in a world at 1.5ºC,” explained the Danish minister, alluding to the maximum that the planet’s temperature must increase between now and the end of the century, according to climate experts.

The objective of + 1.5ºC as a maximum increase in temperature, as far as possible, was established in the 2015 Paris Agreement, and in Glasgow the countries are discussing what measures are necessary to achieve it.

Scientists say greenhouse gas emissions must be cut by nearly half this decade to keep temperatures under control. And fossil fuels are largely responsible for this global warming.

More countries will join BOGA in the coming days, the Danish minister promised.

The Alliance was born as “a platform of good policies”, with the objective of sharing knowledge for an effective energy transition, explained Meza. It will have founding members, associates and friends, with different degrees of commitment, explained the Costa Rican minister.

This alliance “can turn the world away from fossil fuels that are leading to a catastrophe,” reacted Sujatha Bergen of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The delinking of oil and gas will be progressive, depending on the legislation of each country, said Maxime Combes, from Transfolab.

In the COP26 negotiations, mention has been made of an oil and gas exit, but the draft is still being negotiated.

But “this alliance is the first diplomatic initiative that articulates climate commitments and the programmed exit from fossil fuels,” Combes added.

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