February 21, 2024

The head of the United Nations António Guterres has called on world leaders to “end the fossil fuel age” as he returns to Cop28 for the final days of the summit.

I have come back to #COP28, because we are on the brink of climate disaster & this conference must mark a turning point.

I am here to renew my urgent appeal to leaders:

Recommit to the 1.5°C warming limit.

End the fossil fuel age.

Deliver climate justice.

Make #COP28 count.

— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) December 10, 2023

One of the big fights that has been taking place over the last week is whether countries will agree to phase out fossil fuels or just phase them down. The science is clear that – however little is to be used decades from now – the amount of coal, oil and gas being burned must fall much faster if world leaders are to honour their promise of keeping global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial temperatures.

These were some of the main developments yesterday at Cop28 in Dubai:

  • The conference president, Sultan Al Jaber, warned that “failure is not an option” as he prepares a final package for delegates.

  • Vulnerable countries were unhappy at the weak language on climate adaptation.

  • Human Rights Day was marked by civil society complaints about restrictions on protest.

  • Experts were worried that carbon emissions trading could become a “black box’ due to inadequate transparency.

  • Global food production will become “problematic” even at 1.5C, a US envoy has predicted.

  • Argentina was due to swear in a new climate-denying president who has reportedly put the tourism minister in charge of the environment.

Good morning! This is Ajit Niranjan, on the 10th day (if we don’t count Thursday’s rest day) of the 28th Conference of the Parties climate change summit, or Cop28.

The Guardian will be liveblogging the negotiations throughout, as always, and we look forward to your contributions: please email me on ajit.niranjan@theguardian.com with thoughts and suggestions. Jonathan Watts (jonathan.watts@theguardian.com) will be taking over later on.

Yesterday, the Cop president, Sultan Al Jaber, warned the summit that ambition must be stepped up. “The time has come for us to switch gears. We need a text agreed by everyone on greenhouse gases … It boils down to the need for all parties to come to terms (with the fact) that we will deliver the highest ambition. All parties should come to terms with this fact.”

Now that the final stage of the negotiations have begun we are close to finding out just how ambitious this Cop will be.

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