UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, Simon Stiell speaking during a press conference at COP28 in Dubai.

By Pita Ligaiula at COP28 in Dubai, UAE

UN Climate Change chief, Simon Stiell Friday stressed the urgency of finding solutions to address the climate crisis on a global scale.

“COP28 must be about solutions to get all countries out of this climate mess.

That is my central focus: solutions, acceleration, the highest ambition here at COP, and a springboard for the crucial years ahead,” he said at a media conference in Dubai.

He called for a significant shift in the negotiations, urging governments not only to define ‘what’ needs to be done but also to focus on ‘how’ to achieve the necessary outcomes.

Stiell emphasised that the technologies and tools required for climate action are already available and stressed the importance of reaching agreements on their implementation during the summit.

“In short, it’s go-time for governments at COP28 this week,” said Stiell.

He acknowledged the existence of low, middle, and high ambition options on various issues but highlighted the necessity of maintaining the highest ambition COP outcomes to meet the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“If we want to save lives now, and keep 1.5 within reach, the highest ambition COP outcomes must stay front and centre in these negotiations,” Stiell emphasised.

He urged negotiators to prioritise ambitious goals and explore ways to achieve them.

“Yes, compromises will be essential. But not on ambition,” Stiell told the media in Dubai.

The UNFCCC, as an impartial facilitator promised to ensure that all countries have a fair representation and can voice their concerns during the negotiations.

Stiell discouraged diversions and political tactics that could hinder climate ambition, urging ministers and negotiators to think outside the box.

“I don’t want to see diversions and political tactics that hold climate ambition hostage. Climate action needs that paradigm shift,” said Stiell.

Stiell highlighted the global impact of climate change and eight billion people are now on the frontlines.

“Yes, eight billion people are now on the frontlines. But bold climate action is also a momentous opportunity:

“An opportunity for more jobs, healthier economic growth, less pollution and better human health.

“This is what billions of people in every country want, and bolder climate action is the chance for governments to deliver it here in Dubai,” he explained.