U.N. climate negotiators confirmed Monday they are pushing for a deal at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai that will be the beginning of the end for fossil fuels.
Flying back to Dubai to add his voice to the negotiations, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for “maximum ambition and maximum flexibility” to reach an agreement that can find consensus among the nearly 200 countries.
“It’s time to go into overdrive to negotiate in good faith,” he continued after alighting from his jet before going on to join some 80,000 other attendees who have flown in from all around the world for COP28.
The conference of the elites in the lavish Dubai metropolis built by oil money is considered the first-ever call to exit oil, gas, and coal, considered by some as the main culprits in the planet’s “climate crisis.”
Neighboring Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, has led opposition, with the OPEC cartel urging its members to vote against a phase-out of fossil fuels.
Without naming countries, Simon Stiell, the head of the U.N. climate body, called on all sides to remove “unnecessary tactical blockades” holding up a deal.
Guterres called on negotiators to have a “single-minded focus on tackling the root cause of the climate crisis — fossil fuel production and consumption.”
He called on the summit to recognize “the need to phase out all fossil fuels” – a stance opposed by oil producers led by Saudi Arabia.
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