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Updated Dec 13, 2023, 4:14pm EST
net zeroMiddle East

COP28 in photos: Everyone is tired

Men talk, as draft of COP28 deal is negotiated at the same time, during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai.
REUTERS/Amr Alfiky
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Negotiations on a fossil fuel deal at the COP28 climate conference in Dubai stretched through the final night and into the next day.

After the nearly two-week summit, in which the world’s nations debated and eventually agreed on a deal to reduce the use of fossil fuels on Wednesday, it feels like everyone there is just tired.

Here are some photos from the final day of negotiations that show the level of collective exhaustion.

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A delegate gestures as he works in between meetings during the final stages of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP28.
REUTERS/Amr Alfiky
A delegate yawns at the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
A delegate looks on at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December 11, 2023.
REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
A journalist uses his phone as he sits outside the media center, while draft of COP28 deal is negotiated, during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28).
REUTERS/Amr Alfiky

Semafor’s Tim McDonnell, who has been at the summit since the start, summed it up this way: “On Tuesday afternoon, everyone not directly sitting in closed-door negotiations, myself included, was dozing off as conference staff started dismantling the facilities.”

He snapped this picture that captured the vibe outside the press hall:

An ashtray full of cigarettes.
Semafor/Tim McDonnell

The fatigue may have been worth it. Delegates walked away from the conference with an agreement to “transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems ... so as to achieve net zero by 2050.”

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It’s not as forceful a statement as some countries and activists had pushed for, but follows decades of global climate talks that avoided directly targeting the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas.

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