Cop28 talks reach crucial point, says Singaporean minister

Grace Fu insists parties are closer to identifying the few remaining core issues

Grace Fu, Singapore's Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, said negotiations at Cop28 were entering their most telling phase. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Powered by automated translation

Live updates: Follow the latest news on Cop28

Singapore's Minister for Sustainability and the Environment said talks at Cop28 had bridged some gaps but there was still “significant work to do”.

Speaking on Monday morning, Grace Fu said differences remained and more work was required with the crucial summit now entering its final hours.

Ms Fu is one of eight climate ministers chosen to push through the final outcome text and her focus is mitigation, or cutting emissions.

Negotiators remain divided on key issues such as the future of fossil fuels and scaling up climate finance.

"We have narrowed down [these] crucial issues," Ms Fu said on the sidelines of the talks.

“We are at the crucial moments of the negotiations. We have been negotiating hard over the past few days.

"We have gaps to close but parties came with solutions offering ways to bridge the differences.

UN chief says Cop28 will be a success if agreement on phase-out of fossil fuels is made

UN chief says Cop28 will be a success if agreement on phase-out of fossil fuels is made

"That’s a very positive development. We still have significant work to do, although we are now closer to identifying the few core remaining issues.”

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Cop28 President and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, said he was still intent on finishing on time at 11am on Tuesday.

Regarding the language on phase-out or phase-down of fossil fuels, Ms Fu said “maybe some of these words will feature” but the intention was to have a good energy transition. “That’s still a work in progress,” she said.

One of the key aspects of the talks is the idea of an energy transition that works for developing countries.

“The presidency has made this the core issue,” she said. “What we have found is there is great convergence about the need to move to 1.5ºC and for ambition [about] how to get there.

“There are many concerns and many expectations so we will have to work through the language to find possible landing zones. The intention is to have a good energy transition message. A lot of work needs to be done there.”

She said implementation was crucial for countries who wanted to decarbonise and step up their use of renewable energy but might not be in a position to afford it.

“Where do they find the means to implement a grid system? We call for climate action but also mobilise resources to help those countries to get on with decarbonising.”

Ms Fu said Singapore was trying to get out of its “comfort zone” by installing renewable capacity and trying to import more of this energy.

The country has been historically reliant on fossil fuels.

Updated: December 11, 2023, 8:06 PM