Resolve disputes on fossil fuel deal, COP28 head urges countries

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The Emirati chairman of UN climate talks stepped up pressure on countries on Sunday, warning that “failure is not an option” in reaching a deal on fossil fuels.

With the summit in Dubai set to come to an end on Tuesday, COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber urged the roughly 200 nations there to “show flexibility, act with urgency, and find common ground.”

Jaber told reporters that lack of progress or “watering down my ambition” was not an option.

“Failure is not an option. The common good is what we are after. “What we’re after is what’s best for everyone, everywhere,” he explained.

Jaber spoke ahead of a “majlis”, a traditional Emirati assembly where people sit in a circle and try to resolve differences, which he organised to find a deal.

Saudi Arabia, a major oil producer, and India, which is heavily reliant on coal, are said to be the main obstacles to an agreement on phasing out fossil fuels at COP28.

“We need to find consensus and common ground on fossil fuel, including coal,” Jaber said.