The president of the upcoming COP28 climate talks in Dubai called on Sunday for governments to abandon "fantasies" such as hastily ditching existing energy infrastructure in pursuit of climate goals.
"We cannot unplug the energy system of today before we build the new system of tomorrow. It is simply not practical or possible," Sultan Al Jaber said during the opening session of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Climate Week, a UN-organized conference hosted in the Saudi capital Riyadh.
"We must separate facts from fiction, reality from fantasies, impact from ideology, and we must ensure that we avoid the traps of division and distraction."
Much of international climate diplomacy revolves around the thorny issue of how and when to quit fossil fuels.
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