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Climate talks end on a first-ever call for the world to move away from fossil fuels

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COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber, right, celebrates passing the global stocktake with United Nations Climate Chief Simon Stiell, left, and COP28 CEO Adnan Amin during a plenary session at the COP28 U.N. Climate Summit, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

DUBAI – In the final weeks of the hottest year in recorded history, the international body responsible for limiting global warming and its disastrous effects called on countries to transition away from the chief cause of climate change – fossil fuels – for the first time.

“It’s embarrassing that it took 28 years but now we’re finally there. Now it finally seems like the world has acknowledged that we need to move away from fossil [fuels],” said Dan Jørgensen, Denmark’s climate minister.

The agreement at the United Nations climate conference, known as COP28, comes after more than two weeks of contentious negotiations.

But not all of the nearly 200 countries present – particularly those at the greatest risk from the rapidly warming world – were satisfied with the decision, which ended more than 24 hours after the summit’s scheduled close. Amidst the congratulations and speeches, some countries expressed their outrage at not being allowed to comment on a final text they felt did not go far enough to address the threats from global warming, especially to developing nations.

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