The head of UN climate negotiations is pushing for a quick agreement


Although timely completion of UN climate negotiations is uncommon, Sultan Al Jaber, the president of COP28, has established the ambitious objective of concluding the summit in Dubai at 11 am (0700 GMT) on Tuesday.

The head of UN climate negotiations is pushing for a quick agreement. As ministers have arrived in town, Jaber said he expected a new deal proposal from negotiators on Friday.

Jaber was sanguine that the discussions, which the oil-rich United Arab Emirates hosted, could culminate in a meaningful accord, notwithstanding the divergences of opinion regarding the future of fossil fuels.

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“We possess the capacity to effect a paradigm shift,” he declared on Friday, following a day of rest for delegations representing nearly two hundred countries.

“Let us endeavor to complete this task.” “I require that you take initiative and leave your comfort zones,” he stated.

Although Jaber, the leader of ADNOC, the national oil company of the United Arab Emirates, has been met with skepticism by climate activists, he has attempted to assuage doubters by claiming that the phase-out of fossil fuels was “inevitable.”

The historic establishment of a loss and damage fund for nations devastated by climate change marked the beginning of COP28 last week.

“We have inspired the optimists and surprised the skeptics,” Jaber said, later expressing to reporters that he was “positive, hopeful, and optimistic.” “I also sense that something unprecedented can happen here at COP28,” he added.

A limited number of nations, such as China, a significant consumer of crude oil, and Saudi Arabia, an oil producer, have opposed the incorporation of language regarding the phase-out of fossil fuels into the final text.

“We are capable of doing this.”

Tuesday saw the publication of a compromise draft, but negotiators could not produce a new text by Wednesday morning before the break.

The document due on Tuesday includes three alternatives concerning fossil fuels.

An “orderly and just” retreat from hydrocarbons is the initial demand.

The second statement asserts that in order to accomplish net-zero CO2 in energy systems by 2050, nations must expedite their efforts to eliminate “unabated” fossil fuels, which are those whose emissions cannot be captured, and “rapidly” reduce their consumption.

John Kerry, the United States’ climate envoy, reaffirmed on Wednesday that carbon capture technology is crucial to eliminating fossil fuels, alluding to the possibility that Washington is leaning towards the second alternative.

Effectively, the third and most contentious alternative suggests ignoring the issue entirely.

Concerning the global effort to restrict warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, scientists warn that by 2030, greenhouse gas emissions—the majority of which result from the combustion of fossil fuels—must decrease by 43 percent.

Notwithstanding the contentious discourse surrounding fossil fuels, certain governments have expressed confidence in the ability of COP28 to achieve a comprehensive agreement.

“Beyond countless hours of deliberations with stakeholders, I sincerely assert that I am convinced we can accomplish this. “I believe it is possible,” said Dan Jorgensen of Denmark, one of the climate ministers responsible for facilitating the discussions.

Retain carbon within the soil.

Saudi Arabia has been the most outspoken country opposing phasing down or eliminating fossil fuel use. “As one of the largest producers of hydrocarbons, they refuse to have a solution imposed upon them,” Umar Karim, a University of Birmingham expert on Saudi politics, told AFP.

Middle East fellow at Rice University Kristian Ulrichsen stated that Saudi Arabia would pursue a coalition with like-minded nations, including China and Russia, regarding fossil fuels.

However, alternative observers assert that China is contributing positively to the discussions.

Although the nation is the most significant contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, it also ranks first in renewable energy production.

Friday, activists staged an additional demonstration at the expansive COP28 venue, chanting, “No coal, no oil, keep the carbon in the soil!” to halt the use of fossil fuels.