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Last days of COP28: U.N. says it’s time to negotiate “with grace”

As COP28 in Dubai reaches its final critical hours, António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said Monday that it is time to “negotiate with grace.”

Delegates walk through Expo 2020 Dubai, where the COP28 climate summit is being held (Photo credit: Sophie Davies/Gas Outlook)

(Dubai, United Arab Emirates) A media stakeout was held with the U.N. Secretary-General for Climate Change on Monday at COP28, where he delivered a statement on the content of the final hours of conference discussions, their importance and what remains to be done.

António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said that there are still “large gaps to be filled” in the final hours of negotiations at the COP28 conference.

The assessment of global stocktake – one of the main focuses of COP28 – must provide a path to “phasing out” fossil fuels in a way that is consistent with the principles of the Paris Agreement, he said, adding that there is no time for flexibility with the parties now. Ministers and negotiators must look beyond red lines and obstructionist tactics.

“It’s essential that the global stocktake recognises the need to phase out fossil fuels on a timetable consistent with 1.5°C and a just, orderly transition for all,” he said.

“It is time to negotiate with grace, it is time to find a compromise, in line with scientific estimates and guidance.” COP28 can “demonstrate that multilateralism remains our primary goal” and “this is the core of our strength,” he added.

Parties need to agree to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve “climate justice,” while the global stocktake assessment process provides a clear path to tripling renewable energy and doubling energy efficiency, he said.

It is time for ministers and negotiators to push and enforce the need for compromise, and governments must ensure that countries and people affected by climate change and fossil fuel emissions are protected. Even if countries’ implementation timelines for climate solutions vary, they must align with goals and be fully supported by developed countries, Guterres stressed.

Finally, he noted that COP28 cannot be expected to solve all global financial problems.

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