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Resolve differences on fossil fuel deal, COP28 head urges countries

The Emirati head of UN climate negotiations stepped up pressure Sunday on countries to quickly resolve differences over a deal on fossil fuels, warning that “failure is not an option”.

With the conference in Dubai due to officially end on Tuesday, COP28 president Sultan Al Jaber urged the nearly 200 nations at the talks to “show flexibility, to act with urgency and to find the common ground”.

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

“Failure is not an option. What we are after is the common good. What we’re after is what is in the best interest of everyone, everywhere,” he said.

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.

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