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COP28: “Countries must remove obstacles” – U.N. exec

U.N. Executive Secretary Simon Stiell urged countries to remove obstacles in the COP28 negotiations or “risk ruining the outcome for everyone.”

Delegates walk through Expo City Dubai, the venue for the COP28 climate talks (Photo credit: Sophie Davies/Gas Outlook)

(Dubai, United Arab Emirates) A media stakeout was held with U.N. Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiel on Monday at COP28, where he delivered a statement on the status of negotiations, outstanding issues, the factors influencing decision-making, and the position of the parties on the issues on the table.

Stiel insisted that countries could leave Dubai with an agreement that reflects the “highest levels of ambition” internationally in dealing with climate change. Without tough action, “countless millions of lives” would be lost, he said, adding that with the talks reaching a “decisive stage” everything was on the table.

“The goal is for the global stocktake to help all countries emerge from climate chaos, as “any strategic landmine that explodes for one person, explodes for everyone.”

“There is literally no place to hide,” he added.

Stiel also emphasized that financing must be the cornerstone for expanding climate action on all fronts.

COP28 was scheduled to conclude its work at 11 am on Dec. 12, but is expected to over-run after a draft version of the final COP text divided negotiators on the penultimate day.

Stiel said that to obtain a positive outcome and agreement for COP28 “unnecessary tactical blockades” need to be removed and negotiators need to “reject gradualism.”

Any step backwards would cost millions of lives, not in the next political or economic cycle, which future leaders must deal with, but now, in every country,” he stressed.

The U.N. executive emphasized that one thing is certain: “I win – you lose” is a recipe for total collective failure. Ultimately, it is the security of 8 billion people that is at stake, he said.

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