Countries at the COP28 climate talks need to stop posturing, aim high and agree on a way to end the “fossil fuel era as we know it”, UN climate chief Simon Stiell said on Wednesday, as tension over the future of coal, oil and gas came to the fore.
The UN climate chief was speaking as the two-week conference approaches its midpoint when attention turns to behind-the-scenes negotiations, following the opening flurry of announcements.
“All governments must give their negotiators clear marching orders. We need highest ambition, not point-scoring or lowest common denominator politics,” Stiell told a news conference.
COP28’s host country, the United Arab Emirates, said more than $83 billion had been mobilised during the first five days of the event.
US climate envoy John Kerry said it had been “a pretty damn good week” so far, but that the pace of emissions cutting had to be accelerated.
“I’m not telling you that everybody’s going to come ‘kumbaya’ to the table. But I am telling you, we’re going to make a best effort to get the best agreement we can to move as far as we can as fast as we can,” Kerry told a news conference.
- EU calls for ‘beginning of the end’ of fossil fuels
The European Union threw its weight behind phasing out the use of coal, oil and natural gas, calling for the COP28 talks to “mark the beginning of the end” of fossil fuels.
European Commissioner for Climate Action Wopke Hoekstra told a news conference that the bloc is seeking a “higher bar” in negotiations.
“We have over 190 parties here at COP28 and we need all of these parties, all of these parties to agree to phase-out fossil fuels,” warned Hoekstra.
Small island nations and other developing countries have also signaled support for a phase-out of fossil fuels, but any agreement coming out of COP has to be near unanimous.
Read more: france24.com