The Emirati head of the UN’s climate conference pressed countries on Wednesday to strive for common ground and reach a “historic” deal by early next week, giving negotiators days to untangle disagreements over the fate of fossil fuels.

It is rare for UN climate talks to end as scheduled but COP28 president Sultan Al Jaber set the ambitious goal of having a deal in place by 11:00 am (0700 GMT) on Tuesday, the last official day of the conference.

He urged the nearly 200 nations represented at COP28 to work with a “spirit of compromise”, step out of their “comfort zones and find common ground to deliver a high ambition and balanced outcome”.

COP28 kicked off last week with the landmark launch of a loss and damage fund for nations devastated by climate change.

But the first week of negotiations ended on Wednesday with delegations unable to produce an updated version of a draft agreement that was published the previous day.

The text includes language on phasing out fossil fuels, which the European Union, the United States, island nations and African countries support.

But it also has an option to leave the issue off the final text, a position backed by China, Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations.

Read more: France24