Dubai: In a last-minute call on the penultimate day of the COP28 on Monday, the United Nations Climate Chief asked Parties to “clear tactical blockades” and “reject incrementalism” and cited that they have “not a minute to waste” and “nowhere to hide.”
On the final day of COP28, negotiators are expected to intensify efforts to reach crucial agreements on key issues.
The focus will likely centre on finalising texts related to mitigation ambitions and the means of support for transitioning to solutions for limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees and fighting climate change.
Addressing the media as the UN climate conference entered its final stretch, Simon Stiell, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), emphasised the need for immediate action, stating negotiators have a 24-hour window to start a new chapter.
He said they do have the possibility to reach “the highest levels of ambition” both on mitigation and proper means of support for transition to tackle climate change.
For a meaningful deal, he said: “First, clear the unnecessary tactical blockades out of the way and there have been many along this journey.”
The Global Stocktake needs to help all countries get out of this mess. Any strategic landmines that blow it up for one, blow it up for all. There is nowhere to hide.”
“The Global Stocktake needs to help all countries get out of this mess. Any strategic landmines that blow it up for one, blow it up for all,” Stiell warned.
He reminded the parties that the global community is closely watching them for signs of consensus and a commitment to ambitious outcomes. “There is nowhere to hide.”
Stiell urged negotiators to reject incrementalism citing that “each step back from the highest ambition will cost countless millions of lives.”
He said the reality is that the highest ambition outcomes are the only way for all governments to leave Dubai with a win under their belt.
“One thing is for certain. ‘I win-you lose’ is a recipe for collective failure. Ultimately, it is 8 billion people’s security that is at stake. Science is the backbone of the Paris Agreement, especially when it comes to the world’s temperature goals and the planetary limit of 1.5.”
Stiell pointed out that the highest climate ambition means “more jobs, stronger economies, stronger economic growth, less pollution, better health, much more resilience, protecting people in every country from the climate wolves at our doors; secure, affordable, safe energy for all, through a renewable energy revolution that leaves no country or community behind, instead leaving our dependence on fossil fuels behind.”
Stiell called for ensuring inclusive representation of all parties and reminded the negotiators that any agreements reached on this last day will shape the trajectory of global climate action for the coming years.
In response to questions, the UN climate chief stated that consensus is still under negotiation as new texts are being considered. He said Parties are still debating on the definition of what “just transition” means.
When asked about concerns regarding efforts to collapse or slow down negotiations, Stiell said that the current focus is on achieving a positive outcome within the next 24 hours.