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PARIS: Around 100 climate campaign groups warned COP28 organisers Monday that success of critical upcoming talks in Dubai rests on whether countries can negotiate a formal agreement to replace polluting fossil fuels with clean power.

Published two weeks before the conference in oil-rich United Arab Emirates, the open letter from groups led by Oil Change International and 350.org expressed alarm that the hosts of the UN talks could be positioning to accept a watered-down outcome.

The letter to COP28 incoming president Sultan Al Jaber said the success of the conference will ultimately “be judged by whether it secures an agreement on a comprehensive energy package”.

The centrepiece of the November 30 to December 12 climate meeting will be a “stocktake” of the world’s progress so far on meeting the Paris Agreement’s ambitious goal of curbing global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial era.

The world is currently far off track and now faces the daunting challenge of cutting carbon emissions almost in half this decade while also coping with increasingly ferocious and costly climate disasters.

The organisations said failure to agree to slash energy sector emissions in line with scientific advice and to negotiate a “phase out of fossil fuels would have a major impact both on the world’s most vulnerable populations and ecosystems and on the credibility of this process”.

Signatory climate groups, which also included Greenpeace, Climate Action Network and the Union of Concerned Scientists, called for formal agreement on a set of energy priorities.

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