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Reaction to the final COP28 climate deal

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Reaction to the final COP28 climate deal
December 12, 2023

DUBAI (Reuters) - The COP28 climate summit adopted a final deal on Wednesday that for the first time calls on nations to transition away from fossil fuels to avert the worst impacts of climate change.

Here are some reactions to the deal:

U.S. special climate envoy John Kerry:

"I am in awe of the spirit of cooperation that has brought everybody together."

Denmark's Minister for Climate and Energy Dan Jorgensen:

"We're standing here in an oil country, surrounded by oil countries, and we made the decision saying let's move away from oil and gas."

Samoa representative Anne Rasmussen on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States:

"We didn't want to interrupt the standing ovation when we came into the room, but we are a little confused about what happened. It seems that you just get on with the decisions and the small island developing states were not in the room."

"We have come to the conclusion that the course correction that is needed has not been secured. We have made an incremental advancement over business as usual, when what we really need is an exponential step change in our actions."

Bangladesh climate envoy Saber Hossain Chowdhury:

"Adaptation is really a life and death issue ... We cannot compromise on adaptation; we cannot compromise on lives and livelihoods."

Canadian Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault:

"COP28 reached a historic agreement ... It provides opportunities for near term action and pushes for a secure, affordable, 1.5C compatible and clean transition. The text has breakthrough commitments on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and the transition away from fossil fuels."

China's vice environment minister, Zhao Yingmin:

"Developed countries have unshirkable historical responsibilities for climate change."

Marshall Islands' head of delegation, John Silk:

"I came here from my home in the islands to work with you all to solve the greatest challenge of our generation. I came here to build a canoe together for my country. Instead we have built a canoe with a weak and leaky hull, full of holes. Instead we have put it in the water."

Singapore's environment minister, Grace Fu

"I think we have to take the outcome as part of a deal that has been negotiated all round."

"Very often in a negotiation, parties are too hunkered down in their respective positions. And words like 'phase out' became a problem. ... The important part is to look at the content and the intentions."

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore:

"The decision at COP28 to finally recognize that the climate crisis is, at its heart, a fossil fuel crisis is an important milestone. But it is also the bare minimum we need and is long overdue. The influence of petrostates is still evident in the half measures and loopholes included in the final agreement."

"Whether this is a turning point that truly marks the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era depends on the actions that come next and the mobilization of finance required to achieve them."

A source familiar with Saudi Arabia's position:

The deal is "a menu where every country can follow its own pathway" and "shows the various tracks that will allow us to maintain the objective of 1.5 (degrees) in accordance with the characteristics of every nation and in the context of sustainable development."

"We must use every opportunity to reduce emissions regardless of the source. We must use all technologies to this effect."

(Reporting by William James, Elizabeth Piper, Valerie Volcovici, Gloria Dickie, Katy Daigle, David Stanway, Simon Jessop; Maha El Dahan, editing by Christina Fincher and Louise Heavens)


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