COP28: Colombia's Proposal for Replacing Oil and Gas

a man standing in front of a room of people with a powerpoint slide on the projection screen behind him, speaking into a microphone and gesturing as he talks
El Espectador
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
COP28: Colombia's Proposal for Replacing Oil and Gas

The Colombian government has taken advantage of the presence of President Gustavo Petro at COP28, the most important conference on climate change, to insist on the goal of leaving behind the extraction of coal, oil and gas (fuels on which it is highly dependent), and moving towards a decarbonized economy in line with the Paris Agreement.

From Dubai, where more than 90,000 people from all over the world are gathered, the President, together with the Minister of Environment, Susana Muhamad; the Minister of Mines, Andrés Camacho, and the Minister of Commerce and Tourism, Germán Umaña, presented his new proposal: a commitment to nature.

"Colombia has decided not to sign any more coal, oil and gas exploitation contracts", insisted the president. "There are already exploitation contracts for several years, and others in exploration signed. But what we do not want is to expand further".

In a speech addressed to delegates from developed countries and investors, who had specially reserved seats in the Colombia pavilion, Petro presented the 14 investment programs with which he hopes to overcome dependence on fossil fuels and for the country to achieve its climate goals.

“We have to replace fossil currencies with another type of activity. And what we find in the short term is the natural diversity of Colombia. From the snows in the Caribbean, to the jungles, the desert and the great Andean mountains,” he assured.

Colombia proposes to strengthen nature tourism, sustainable production systems, protection and restoration of ecosystems, just energy transition and adaptation to climate change. Investments in these areas, they said, would allow the country to restore more than 750,000 hectares of forest, reduce its vulnerability to flooding or drought events by 30%, and reduce up to 20% of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2026.

This is a summary. Read the full story in Spanish on El Espectador's website.

This story was produced as part of the 2023 Climate Change Media Partnership, a journalism fellowship organized by Internews' Earth Journalism Network and the Stanley Center for Peace and Security. It was first published in Spanish by El Espectador on 3 December 2023.

Banner image: The presentation of Colombia's portfolio at COP28 / Credit: El Espectador.

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