Cop28: Australia, US and UK say they won’t sign agreement that would be ‘death certificate’ for small islands

(The Guardian, 11 Dec 2023) Australian climate change minister, Chris Bowen, says umbrella group of countries is united in saying draft agreement is too weak.

A group of countries including Australia, the US, the UK, Canada and Japan have said they will “not be a co-signatory” to “death certificates” for small island states, and have demanded a stronger agreement at the Cop28 summit to deal with fossil fuels and address the climate crisis.

A statement delivered by the Australian climate change minister, Chris Bowen, on behalf of what’s known as the umbrella group of countries, came as tensions flared at the United Arab Emirates over the text of a draft deal proposed by the summit presidency.

Released early on Monday evening local time, the draft avoided highly contentious calls for a “phase-out” or “phase-down” of fossil fuels in an attempt to find consensus from nearly 200 countries that have been meeting in Dubai for nearly a fortnight.

Some observers welcomed elements of the draft, including the first mention in a Cop text of reducing fossil fuel production, but others were scathing, describing it as “grossly insufficient” and “incoherent”.

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The Guardian, 11 Dec 2023: Cop28: Australia, US and UK say they won’t sign agreement that would be ‘death certificate’ for small islands