BERLIN (AP) — Nations resumed talks on tackling global warming on Monday in a bid to shape a deal that could put the world on track to stave off a dangerous rise in temperatures, as the top climate official of the UN has called for deep reductions in the use of fossil fuels.
Diplomats began two-week negotiations in Bonn, Germany, although they failed to agree on a formal agenda due to differences over the topic of greenhouse gas emission reductions Greenhouse.
The question goes to the heart of the climate problem, since the burning of oil, coal and gas is responsible for most of the warming that has occurred since pre-industrial times.
Simon Stiell, who heads the UN’s climate office, told The Associated Press in an interview over the weekend that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) will require phasing out fossil fuels, which many oil-producing countries have pushed back against. .
Environmental activists have lamented that this year’s UN climate summit is being held in the United Arab Emirates, a major exporter of fossil fuels, and chaired by the chief executive of Abu Dhabi’s national oil company. The host country pushed back against these criticisms.
Stiell said the leaders’ meeting in Dubai this fall should be seen as an opportunity.
“We have a chairman (for the talks) who has significant experience in the oil and gas sector, in an oil and gas producing country,” he told reporters in Bonn. “It gives the opportunity to ask very difficult questions, but also to seek very difficult but necessary answers.”
Asked about calls to limit the presence of fossil fuel lobbyists, Stiell said his office was looking at ways to ensure greater transparency based on the experience of previous meetings, known as conferences of the parties or COP.
“Some of these measures could actually be put in place before the next COP, to help ensure the transparency and integrity of the process,” he said, without giving further details.
Stiell said the failure to adopt an agenda at the start of the technical talks in Bonn was “not desirable, but it is not uncommon”.
“There will be consultations with the parties regarding the unresolved agenda items. But the important thing is that the work has started,” he said, adding that he hopes the negotiators from nearly 200 countries will be able to have “productive and constructive engagement”.
Asked about the importance of reducing the use of fossil fuels, Stiell said “the science is clear”.
“Halving emissions by 2030 and reaching ‘net zero’ by 2050 requires deep cutting and reduction, phasing out all fossil fuels,” he said.
He welcomed the surge in renewable energy generation, with unprecedented levels of investment and deployment of solar and wind energy in recent years.
“That’s half the equation,” Stiell said. “But the other requires these deep cuts in fossil fuel production and consumption, which we don’t see.”