Video Credit: COP28 UAE

Dubai: The UN-led Conference of Parties 28 (COP28) conference in the UAE adopted the landmark ‘UAE Consensus’ on climate change on Wednesday, December 13.

Representatives from 197 countries, in addition to the EU, approved the UAE Consensus – which contains language on fossil fuels for the first time ever.

“Over the last two weeks, we have worked very hard to secure a better future for our people and our planet,” said COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber.

The hall erupted in loud cheers and saw a standing ovation after the COP President said, “We have language on fossil fuels in our final agreement for the first-time ever.” The new Global Stocktake, released early Wednesday morning, asked countries to transition away from fossil fuels to hit net zero by 2050.

"In unity and solidarity, we will walk the new path the UAE Consensus has set for the world. Together, we will follow our North Star," said Al Jaber.

"We leave Dubai with our heads held high and our work goes on in unity and solidarity. We will secure the future of this beautiful planet for the many generations to come," said Al Jaber.

"We have delivered a comprehensive response to the Global Stocktake. We have delivered a robust action plan to keep 1.5C in reach. It is a balanced plan that addresses emissions. it is built on common ground. It is strengthened by full inclusivity. It is a historic package to accelerate climate action. It is the UAE Consensus." said Al Jaber.

Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said, “Whilst we didn't turn the page on the fossil fuel era in Dubai, this outcome is the beginning of the end.”

Delegates respond to the UAE Consensus

US Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry, said, “While all of us can find a paragraph or sentences or section where we would’ve liked something else to appear. But in a multilateral venue, to have as strong a document as has been put together, I find this a cause of optimism. The fact is that this document sends a very strong message to the world.”

United States Secretary General Antonio Guterres has issued a statement on the deal. He said, “Whether you like it or not, fossil fuel phase out is inevitable. Let’s hope it doesn’t come too late."

Marina da Silva, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Brazil welcomed the deal and has said the focus now has to be a just transition, so the world can move towards an end to fossil fuels. “The challenge of delivering this 1.5 mission will depend on everyone. I look forward to Brazil hosting COP30," she said.

Wopke Hoekstra, European Commissioner for Climate Action, said, “We have found it a tremendous privilege to work alongside all of you, to team up and to bridge the divide and to unite. Because, dear friends, when we are all long gone our children will be there to deal with all the things we have left for them – the good and the bad. And with them in mind it makes this a day of gratitude – and of silent determination.”  “Humanity has finally done what is long overdue. Thirty years we’ve spent to arrive at the beginning of the end of fossil fuels.”