With the clock ticking away, negotiators at the COP28 UN climate summit are saying that a just and equitable phase out of fossil fuels and financing the climate urgency in the Global South are key hurdles that need to be overcome in the negotiating text. 

“There has been language before on finance and a starting point is to acknowledge that $4 trillion are needed by 2030 to address the climate needs of the Global South,” said Andreas Sieber, Associate Director of Global Policy and Campaigns at 350.org, an organistion championing the phase out of fossil fuels and adopting renewable energy.

“Fossil fuels, or a phase out of it, is one crunch issues in the negotiations. Finance and the global goal for adaptation is another. We need a fair outcome. The Global South can’t be ignored under small fine print,” he told Zawya.

“Rich countries have to take the lead, developed countries need to take the lead, in this rapid decline of fossil fuels. And it has to be done this decade. These are some of the words that remain issues,” said Sieber. “A phase out of fossil fuels as opposed to a phase out of fossil fuel emissions is a key element to watch out for.”

Sieber didn’t rule out a two-track solution, saying that developed countries could be required to phase out fossil fuels faster than others. “You don’t expect a Mozambique or a Slovenia achieving success at a phase out at the same rate as a US or Canada,” said Sieber.

The climate expert also brought up the role of finance and how it will play a big part in the energy transition.

“Finance is somewhat cross cutting all the issues here. The energy package in particular needs huge financial investments to seed and support the needs in the Global South. The EU pledge of Euros 2.3 billion and what we have seen from other countries will certainly finalise the energy transition process, but there are further financial aspects that we need to get right,” said Sieber.

“The financial support for adaptation, going beyond the $100 billion roadmap to deliver on Loss and Damage, the doubling of adaptation finance, all this will matter to developing countries and will need to be part of the final overall deal,” he added.

(Reporting by Bindu Rai, editing by Daniel Luiz)