Environment

Race against time: Guterres urges consensus on ending use of all fossil fuels

Dubai, Dec 11 (EFE).- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Monday that the success of the Dubai climate summit hinged on reaching a consensus to end the use of all fossil fuels, with the possibility of varying speeds based on individual country circumstances.

The UN chief said the central aspect of the success of the annual climate summit will be “to reach a consensus on the need to phase out fossil fuels” in line with the 1.5-degree Celsius limit in temperature rise above pre-industrial levels.

“That doesn’t mean that all countries must phase out fossil fuels at the same time,” Guterres told reporters in a crowded press conference.

He noted that “the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities” applied in the global phase-out of fossil fuels should be “compatible with net zero in 2050.”

“We are in a race against time,” declared the UN chief as the summit neared its conclusion, with less than 24 hours remaining before the curtains fall on the event.

“There are still large gaps that need to be bridged. Now is the time for maximum ambition and maximum flexibility.”

He urged negotiators to “move beyond arbitrary red lines, entrenched positions and blocking tactics” to be able to agree on solutions without compromising science.

“In our fractured and divided world, COP28 can show that multilateralism remains our best hope to tackle global challenges,” he said, specifically, asking participants to ensure maximum ambition on two fronts.

“First, ambition on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Second, ambition on delivering climate justice.”

He said the global stocktake must offer a clear plan for a tripling of renewables, a doubling of energy efficiency, and a single-minded focus on tackling the root cause of the climate crisis – fossil fuel production and consumption.

“Of course, transformation won’t happen overnight,” he pointed out.

According to scientists, the increase in the average temperature by the end of the century compared to the pre-industrial era must not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius if we want to guarantee the habitability of the planet. EFE

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