COP28 delegates fly 50,000 miles to agree fossil fuels are bad

It took the world 28 years to realize that fossil fuels might be a bit problematic for our planet’s health. 

Delegates from around the world had to collectively fly a staggering 50,000 miles to reach a city that gleams with oil money and a rather casual approach to human rights in order to reach this revelation.

The historic deal of committing to a transition away from all fossil fuels was the highlight of this year’s COP28, an annual reminder that the Paris Agreement is still a thing. The agreement is as groundbreaking as discovering that the Earth orbits the sun.

The summit, which could easily have been an email or an online meeting, turned out to be a carbon footprint fiesta in a country where the term is often misunderstood for a fancy shoe showroom. 

Environmental crusaders from all corners of the globe gathered in air-conditioned conference rooms, sipping water from expensive and customized stainless steel refillable bottles, to discuss how to save the planet from the very practices that got them there. 

Skeptics, like a few first-world countries that have already done their part in using most of the world’s fossil fuels, were in plenty. But they seemed convinced, not by the urgency of melting ice caps or the charm of polar bears on thin ice, but by the gentle, non-binding language of the agreement. 

At this point, they are just glad that certain phrases like fossil fuel “phase out” were not used. Moving away from oil and gas will do for now. No previous COP text has dared to mention the same too, perhaps because it’s hard to write such things with a pen sponsored by an oil company.

What finally pushed them into signing the deal was a 12-year-old protester who burst onto the stage with a sign that read: “End fossil fuels. Save our planet and our future”. This little environmentalist was the only one who managed to succinctly capture the essence of the summit’s goal, something that hundreds of suited-up delegates seemed to struggle with.

“It’s like we’re on the Titanic, and we’ve just agreed that the iceberg is indeed a problem. Now let’s see if we can steer this ship around in time”, commented a local environmentalist.

As the delegates pat themselves on the back and fly back home, tallying up those air miles, one can only hope that the irony of the situation isn’t lost at 30,000 feet. At least, they will be comforted by the thought that they’ve agreed to agree on something.

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