CAMPAIGNERS have warned there can be no more “snake oil solutions” over tackling climate change ahead of the UN COP28 summit, which is expected to see intense debate over the phasing out of fossil fuels.

World leaders, senior ministers and officials from 198 countries will gather in Dubai from this Thursday for the annual summit on the climate crisis, which expected to be the biggest yet.

Among those expected to attend the fortnight-long talks include UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Scotland's First Minister Humza Yousaf, while King Charles will give the opening speech.

Ahead of the meeting UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres warned there is an “absolutely devastating” acceleration of rate of ice melt in Antarctica.

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf set to represent Scotland at COP28 in Dubai

“The Antarctic is waking up and the world must wake up,” he added.

One of the biggest areas of debate is expected to be around ending the use of fossil fuels, with host country the United Arab Emirates (UAE) a major oil and gas producing country.

There has been criticism that UAE minister Sultan Al Jaber, who is presiding over the talks, is also the chief of the country’s national oil company, Adnoc. Activist Greta Thunberg has previously described it as "completely ridiculous".

Mike Robinson, chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, said: “One of the key things on the agenda at COP28 will be assessing progress by each nation in delivering its promises in Paris in 2015 to cut emissions.

“This is unlikely to be easy reading. Indications have shown that current commitments have us on course for 3C of heating, which would prove catastrophic.

“The host of COP28 - UAE, themselves a huge fossil fuel producing nation, but also a nation witnessing first hand some of the most extreme temperatures - has a crucial role to secure more ambitious commitments.”

Robinson said Scotland could play a role by setting an example of how to fairly transition to a low carbon economy – and there was need to ensure the Scottish Government's delayed climate change plan was in place to be “show off proudly” by the time of next year’s COP meeting.

He also pointed towards the role played by Scotland at COP27 in securing a key breakthrough on an agreement to set up a loss and damage fund, saying it was important to continue to champion this.

He added: “There is a growing momentum around the need for COP28 to finally agree to a complete phase out of fossil fuel production across the world.

“This is expected to be a key area of intense disagreement with big fossil fuel producing nations in the Global South, who will argue that developed countries have become rich on the back of fossil fuels, and that they should also be afforded this opportunity.

READ MORE: Net zero consensus will not be put back together by COP28

“Meanwhile the wealthier nations are still pumping subsidies into the oil and gas (and coal) sectors, fuelling further damage, and making the job of avoiding runaway climate change harder and harder to deliver.”

Rebecca Newsom, head of politics at Greenpeace UK, said: “No more weasel words. No more snake oil solutions. The UK must be a powerful voice at these talks for the only real solution in town: a full, fair, fast and managed phase out of all coal, oil and gas.

“In a year of blistering heat and unprecedented climate chaos, the UK must champion rapid action to establish the loss and damage fund promised last year, to assist the most vulnerable communities.

"And it should lead the way in filling the fund. New taxes and levies on extractive oil and gas companies who’ve raked in enormous profits while trashing our planet could easily help meet the UK’s vital climate finance obligations.”

Newsom said the UK must also lead by example in taking climate action at home.

“You don’t phase out fossil fuels by “maxing out” the North Sea,” she added.

“You don’t stand up for action on loss and damage by allowing the biggest polluters to get away scot-free.

“And you don’t tackle the cost of living crisis by repeatedly failing to invest in home insulation schemes.

“Rishi Sunak says he wants to make decisions for the long-term - this is his chance, and we are waiting.”

Fabrice Leveque, climate and energy policy manager for WWF Scotland, said: “The upcoming COP28 summit in Dubai is a critical moment for world leaders to agree more climate action, which must see us limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees.

“A key part of this is ensuring a fair, fast and funded phase out of fossil fuels and phase in of renewables and energy efficiency measures, and climate finance to help the countries most vulnerable to climate disaster make the green transition.”

But he said for the climate talks to be a success, there was a need to see action – which in Scotland means tackling major sources of emissions including how homes are heated and food is produced.

“A swift transition to cleaner heating and a sustainable agricultural system would establish Scotland’s reputation as a real leader on climate action,” he added.

“The Scottish Government rightly received praise at last year’s negotiations for its actions on ‘loss and damage’ funding and we hope to see more this time around.

“COP28 must be the moment where the world rallies to meet the climate challenge, protect nature globally, and restore our natural world for future generations.

"Time is running out, but there is still hope.”