A two-track solution to the negotiations would not be acceptable, said the COP20 president, a day before the COP28 UN climate conference draws to a close in Dubai.

Comments from Manuel Pulgar-Vidal came hours after several climate experts addressed a press conference stating that every solution was being discussed in the phase out of fossil fuels and the finance needed to fund the energy transition.

“No two-track solution should be looked at. It should be a single clear solution that is about phasing out of fossil fuels. This is the political process that sends a clear signal to the economy,” Pulgar-Vidal told Zawya. “Any decision taken will ultimately fall under the principles of the UN convention, and then we put it to work. But it must be a clear phrasing to phase out of fossil fuels.”

The former president of the UN climate summit also said that the wording of the text was key. “We need to strengthen the mechanism to promote tangible ways to protect the livelihoods of the Global South. We need to ensure the negotiating text clarifies this in an integral and democratic way. Every chapter, every element of the discussion counts,” he said, adding: “But let me reiterate that we need the framework that clearly says that fossil fuels will be phased out.”

Finance in focus

The need for an agreement on climate finance, especially from developed countries is also a key element of the climate negotiations, and Pulgar-Vidal also stressed on this as the need of the hour.

“We have to continue to strengthen a collective call for climate finance. We know that the $100 billion pledge at the Paris Agreement was just peanuts. We know that the new [financial] goal must be huge; it must cover the cost of the transition, which is in trillions, and it must promote access to the poorest countries, the less developed countries in the world. It is the only way to work on the transition, together, as it was discussed in Paris, without leaving anyone behind,” he said.

Pulgar-Vidal also stated the deployment of the funds had to be transparent and involve all aspects of the financial sector. “We know to trigger a real reform, we need the multilateral banks on board. It is also about including the bilateral and commercial banks. That transparency shows that all of us, including the financial sector, are focused on achieving the climate objective and also focused on limiting access to resources and those activities that are promoting emissions,” he added.

The COP20 president is confident an outcome would emerge from the climate summit, one that was favourable. “It is difficult to predict a COP, but I think we can get a positive outcome. The two last days are the most difficult. We need to use this time to build consensus and put pressure on taking a decision,” he stated.

When quizzed about the possibility of a not so positive outcome, Pulgar-Vidal added: “Every COP needs to progress further than its predecessor. That’s the only way to show that this process is alive and we honour the Paris Agreement,” he said.

(Reporting by Bindu Rai, editing by Seban Scaria)