UN climate chief Simon Stiell said on Wednesday that COP28 delegates are not in Dubai to “score points” and play at “lowest-denominator politics”; they must take ambitious action on curbing global warming and ending the climate crisis.

Mr. Stiell’s strong message to government negotiators comes as the latest UN climate conference, running in the UAE’s main city, Dubai, since last Thursday, reaches the halfway mark with agreement on financing for climate adaptation and the fate of fossil fuels still up in the air.

“All governments must give their negotiators clear marching orders”.

“We need highest ambition, not point scoring or lowest common denominator politics,” said Mr. Stiell, who is the Executive Secretary of the UN climate convention, which facilitates COP28.

Noting the early ‘win’ on a loss and damage fund to help vulnerable countries recover from climate-related disasters that was launched on the opening day of the summit, he acknowledged that long-awaited deal had given this COP a spring in its step.

But “it is just a start,” he cautioned, and added: “We would be kidding ourselves if we think it’s a tick in the box for finance and support at this COP. More is required.”

He asked the delegates to take an honest look at the real work ahead, because “good intentions won’t halve emissions this decade or save lives right now.”

“We need enhanced transparency, and to deliver our promise to fund climate action across the world,” he explained.