The second and final week of COP28 in Dubai began this Friday (8) with the historic challenge of reaching a final agreement between nations during the meeting. The global climate conference runs until December 12th and pressure for a consensus is coming from all sides.

Even the most recent statements by the controversial president of COP28, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, signal pressure to complete negotiations within the event’s deadline. He serves as the UAE’s Special Envoy for Climate Change and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology. Al Jaber is also CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, the region’s state-owned oil company.

Before the COP, he even declared that there was no scientific evidence that the progressive elimination of fossil fuels would have no impact on controlling global warming. Days later, he had to retract and stated that eliminating the use of these resources is inevitable.

— Brasil de Fato (@brasildefato) December 8, 2023

Closing deals during the conference is a rare feat. Normally, the final definitions end up being delayed, given the obstacles and diversity of opinions between different countries. However, ending the match in style seems to be one of the UAE’s goals.

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In Dubai, the effort to make the Conference a milestone is noticeable. The city – already known for its opulence, its attachment to perfection and wealth – has dressed itself in sustainability since the end of November. This Friday, Al Jaber told an audience of authorities: “Let’s please complete this work.”

However, observers of the discussions surrounding a final agreement show that the debates do not seem to be heading towards a short-term solution. The word consensus appears very rarely. Behind the scenes, it is common to hear that texts change a lot and at record speed. Some have not even started yet.

The debate ranges from what terminologies and words can or cannot be used, to how much, how and where the trillion-dollar investments needed for the energy transition will come from, especially for developing nations. The international Carbon Brief platform monitors discussions in real time. On Friday night, four days before the end of the event, only 5% of the texts had any agreement. Everything else is in draft or doesn’t even exist.

And Brazil?

On the daily agenda at the event, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Marina Silva (Rede), fulfills commitments with other nations, popular movements and global leaders. It is not yet clear what kind of pressure the country will choose to exert for final agreements.

But, this Friday, the minister said that the next few days will represent a long journey and will be decisive.

“We will have to persist on issues that are quite complex, but that require answers. Alignment at 1.5 (maximum degree of global warming), the means to implement this decision, the resources for losses and damages, adaptation and mitigation” , pointed out Marina Silva.

The minister reinforced that it is not possible to face the problem by denying the influence of oil use on global warming. “Above all, we can leave here with clear recognition that the main problem of climate change has to do with CO emissions2 due to the use of fossil fuels. If we leave here with this clarity and with the commitment to carry out this debate with a sense of responsibility, both on the part of oil producing countries and consuming countries, we can say that we can have hope. Our commitment is for the debate to be carried out recognizing the problem. Science has been saying this for a long time. We cannot continue with a denialist vision.”

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The hopes of an unprecedented feat at the conference continue to guide the UAE’s ambitions. This Friday, hours before the statements given by the minister, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, stated: “Given the approach we have adopted, allow me to say that, the political will, the support of the leadership of the host country, our ability to convening what we are all experiencing here in Dubai at COP28 and our ability to receive an overwhelming positive response from the ministers alongside me – helping us drive maximum ambition – I am quite confident that something special will come out of this COP.”

*The reporter traveled to COP28 at the invitation of the Rosa Luxembrugo Foundation

Editing: Nicolau Soares


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