As COP28 entered its final 48 hours, the UN chief delivered a clear message to government negotiators: “We must conclude the conference with an ambitious outcome that demonstrates decisive action and a credible plan to keep 1.5-degree goal alive, protecting those on the frontlines of the climate crisis.”
‘The clock is ticking’
Negotiators are engaged in intense negotiations to hammer out a deal on key agenda items including the future of the use of fossil fuels, ramping up renewable energy, building resilience to climate change and ensuring financial support for vulnerable countries.
Speaking to reporters today, Mr. Guterres warned of humanity’s race against time as our planet is “minutes to midnight” for the 1.5 degree limit, referring to one of the keystone global warming targets set by the 2015 Paris Agreement. “And the clock keeps ticking.”
And yet, with COP28 so close to the finish line, there is still a “gap that needs to be bridged, said the Secretary-General.
Against this backdrop, he noted that “now is the time for maximum ambition and maximum flexibility. Ministers and negotiators must move beyond arbitrary red lines, entrenched positions and blocking tactics,” he said.
Urging countries to go into “overdrive to negotiate in good faith and rise to the challenge”, the Secretary-General also cautioned that any “compromise for solutions”, must not come at the cost of “compromising on the science or on the need for the highest ambition.”
He underscored that in a “fractured and divided world, COP28 can show that multilateralism remains our best hope to tackle global challenges.”