China sees progress at climate talks as Opec fights for fossil fuel

2/09201030f22f6da.jpg?r=201347" />

China said on Saturday it saw progress in reaching a climate deal at a key United Nations summit in Dubai, despite a last-minute push by the Opec oil cartel to resist a phase-out of fossil fuels.

Opec drew outrage from green-minded countries and activists when it joined Saudi Arabia and called on members to block an emerging declaration that would seek to wind down extraction of the oil, coal, and gas that are fuelling the climate emergency.

But China, the world’s largest oil importer, played down the row and said it was working to find a solution that was “acceptable to all parties”.

“I think we’ve already had some progress on this issue and I believe we will have more progress in resolving this very soon in the coming few days,” China’s climate negotiator Xie Zhenhua told reporters at the COP28 climate conference.

“Because if we do not if we do not resolve this issue, I don’t see much chance of having a successful COP28,” he said.

Canadian climate minister Steven Guilbeault told AFP he was “confident” that the final text would contain language on fossil fuels, which emit planet-heating greenhouse gases.

Guilbeault is among a group of ministers who have been tasked by COP28 president Sultan Al Jaber — who is CEO of the UAE state oil giant ANDOC — to shepherd the negotiations and find an agreement by Tuesday when the summit is due to end.

“Different groups are talking and trying to understand on what we could agree but it’s still quite an embryonic conversation,” he added.