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As the UN’s annual climate summit gets underway in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, one underlying question is set to top the agenda: can the world finally agree to ditch fossil fuels? Down to Earth takes a closer look.

No climate summit has ever set an end date for the dirty fuels at the root of the climate crisis. And yet, coal, oil and gas are by far the largest contributors to climate change, accounting for over 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Can COP28 signal the end of the fossil fuel era? A number of countries and civil society groups are expected to push for an agreement to phase out fossil fuels at the summit, but there is bound to be resistance from oil-exporting nations as well as emerging economies.

According to the International Energy Agency, fossil fuel demand must fall by 25 percent by the end of this decade and 80 percent by 2050 if governments are to limit the rise in global warming to 1.5°C.

In this edition of Down to Earth, we look at what progress has been made in the recent history of COP summits to move away from dirty fuels and at some of the buzzwords expected to cause debate at this year’s event.

FRANCE 24’s environment editor also sat down with Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, to discuss the future of fossil fuels and his expectations for the COP28 summit.

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