View all Blog

The ”beginning of the end“ for fossil fuels

bird's eye view of a forest
Nuno Marques/Unsplash
Jan 09, 2024 By WGSN Insider

Slow progress at COP28 to mandate the phase-out of fossil fuels will compel consumers to demand action from brands. Moving forward brands must recognise consumer frustration and go above and beyond legislation to seek alternative fuels and reduce emissions.

WGSN data

Global data from Kantar Global Issues Barometer

What happened at COP28?

COP28 took place in Dubai in late 2023 and was attended by 154 heads of state and governments. For the first time, countries at the UN summit acknowledged that fossil fuels were the main climate problem and a “supermajority” of countries supported a phase-out of fossil fuels, however, no legal mandate is in place and critics say it leaves major loopholes.


“The headline from Dubai's COP28 summit was a recognition of the need to transition from fossil fuels; falling short of plastics, transport and agriculture. Brands and industries must take responsibility to push ahead of legislation as progress on lowering global temperature averages this century, set by the Paris Agreement, slows. Consumers are starting to show disillusionment and are expecting businesses to move faster”

- Helen Palmer, Head of Materials and Textiles, WGSN

The issue with fossil fuels and brands at the fore

Coal, oil and gas contribute three-quarters of global emissions. 82% of people globally agree we should move faster on renewable energy sources. Beauty brand Lush (UK), known for it's dedication to being circular, is already ahead of the game and aims to be a fossil fuel-free business by 2030, removing all fossil fuels from its direct operations, including retail stores and factories.

Subscribers can read the full January Sustainability Bulletin now. Not a subscriber? Request a demo today.

Share article: