At the end of the first week of the COP28 conference held in Dubai, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell, on Wednesday, called on the countries participating in the talks to raise the bar of ambitions and reach clear agreements at the conclusion of the conference.
“All governments must give their negotiators clear marching orders. We need highest ambition, not point-scoring or lowest common denominator politics,” he told a news conference.
According to information obtained by Asharq Al-Awsat from the corridors of the conference, the work now falls on the state commissioners to put all the proposals on the table, before submitting them to officials and ministers, who are expected to reach an agreement at the conclusion of the conference.
For his part, Saudi climate negotiator Khaled Al-Muhaid said in a session on Tuesday evening that the 2015 Paris Agreement “was a great success for all of us”, adding that the “challenge now is how to keep all passengers on the train.”
The latest draft of a global climate agreement presented three options regarding the future of fuel. Sources at the conference indicated that all of the three decisions have good views, with varying rates of acceptance and adoption, but still close in proportion to each other.
“At the end of next week, we need COP to deliver a bullet train to speed up climate action. We currently have an old caboose chugging over rickety tracks,” Stiell told the reporters.
The heated deliberations coincided with climate reports confirming that the year 2023 was the hottest in history, and that November witnessed the warmest autumn in the world ever.
The head of the United Nations Development Program, Achim Steiner, urged countries participating in COP28 not to criticize any side at the conference, saying that Western countries are also sitting in a glass house with regard to oil production.
He pointed in this regard to the United States, Canada, Norway and the United Kingdom, all of which he said wanted to expand their oil production.