Dubai: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday (December 11) proposed a deal at COP28 on phasing out fossil fuels, telling negotiators that “now is the time for maximum ambition and maximum flexibility,” as UN climate talks in Dubai head into the home stretch, UN News reported. As COP28 entered its final 48 hours, the UN chief delivered a clear message to government negotiators:
We must conclude the conference with an ambitious outcome that demonstrates decisive action and a credible plan to keep 1.5-degree goal alive, protecting those on the frontlines of the climate crisis.
Negotiators are engaged in intense negotiations to hammer out a deal on key agenda items including the future of the use of fossil fuels, ramping up renewable energy, building resilience to climate change and ensuring financial support for vulnerable countries, according to UN News.
Speaking to reporters today (December 11), Mr Guterres warned of humanity’s race against time as our planet is “minutes to midnight” for the 1.5 degree limit, referring to one of the keystone global warming targets set by the 2015 Paris Agreement. “And the clock keeps ticking.”
And yet, with COP28 so close to the finish line, there is still a “gap that needs to be bridged, said the Secretary-General. Against this backdrop, he noted that,
Now is the time for maximum ambition and maximum flexibility. Ministers and negotiators must move beyond arbitrary red lines, entrenched positions and blocking tactics.
Urging countries to go into “overdrive to negotiate in good faith and rise to the challenge”, the Secretary-General also cautioned that any “compromise for solutions”, must not come at the cost of “compromising on the science or on the need for the highest ambition.”
He underscored that in a “fractured and divided world, COP28 can show that multilateralism remains our best hope to tackle global challenges.”
Speaking to reporters just ahead of the Secretary-General, UN climate chief Simon Stiell said negotiations on an outcome document have a chance to begin a new chapter that delivers for people and planet.
He underscored the importance of finance as “the bedrock to scale-up climate action on all fronts”.
He stressed that the highest levels of ambition are possible on both, “but if we reduce on one, we reduce our ability to get either.”
To reach a meaningful deal, the many “unnecessary tactical blockades” seen along the COP28 journey must be removed, and “incrementalism” must be rejected, according to the climate chief.
He reminded negotiators that the world is watching and “there is nowhere to hide.”
One thing is for certain: ‘I win – you lose’ is a recipe for collective failure. Ultimately it is 8 billion people’s security that is at stake.
Following the landmark Paris COP, Dubai is the first time that a UN climate summit surveys progress towards achieving the goals agreed in 2015.
This so-named Global Stocktake is still being assessed and could pave the way to ambitious national climate action plans, or NDC’s that countries are due to submit in 2025.
Mr Guterres has called for countries to step up their efforts to ensure maximum ambition on two fronts, namely ambition on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and on delivering climate justice.
On Monday (December 11) he stressed that the Global Stocktake must recognize the “need to phase out all fossil fuels on a time-frame consistent with the 1.5-degree limit – and to accelerate a just, equitable and orderly energy transition for all.”
COP28, which stands for the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is taking place in Dubai, UAE, from November 30 to December 12 this year.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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