Draft for Final Deal Released of COP28 UN Climate Summit

The U.N.’s climate body has published a draft of what is set to be its final agreement from the COP28 climate summit, which ends Tuesday.

Activists have condemned the draft as moving away from previously expected language, and not containing measures that would tackle the global warming that scientists blame for sea rise, increasing droughts and other trends that threaten hundreds of millions across the world. 

Specifically, activists are upset that the draft, which was written by the COP28 presidency, run by an Emirati oil company CEO, does not call for a phasing out of all fossil fuels, something that was asked for by over 100 nations.

In referring to fossil fuels, the draft says that countries must engage in the “phasing out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption and do not address energy poverty or just transitions, as soon as possible.”

The COP28 presidency viewed the draft as a success, calling it a “huge step forward.”

“We have a text and we need to agree on the text,” COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber said. “The time for discussion is coming to an end and there’s no time for hesitation. The time to decide is now.”

Discussions are ongoing with the summit expected to end at 11 a.m. Tuesday. Fossil fuels are at the forefront of negotiations.

The presidency of the conference “recognizes that for this to be viewed as a success, we need to find some agreement on fossil fuels,” said Steven Guilbeault, Canadian environment minister and one of eight “super-negotiators.”

“I think if we can’t do that, people will see this as a failure, even though we’ve agreed on lots of other good things,” Guilbeault said.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on delegates at COP28 to go into “overdrive,” to ensure that a deal gets done before the conclusion of the event.

“We can’t keep kicking the can down the road. We are out of road – and almost out of time,” Guterres said. 

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.