Nov 10, 2021 10:02 AM EST

Saudi Arabia says allegation that they are trying to slow negotiations is false

COP26 in Glasgow

Saudi Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is surrounded by media during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, November 10, 2021. REUTERS/Phil Noble

GLASGOW, Scotland – Saudi Arabia’s energy minister has denied allegations that his country’s negotiators were working to slow down negotiations and water down commitments at the U.N. climate talks.

It is a “a false allegation, a cheat and a lie,” Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman al Saud told reporters on Wednesday at the U.N. climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

Delegations of about 200 countries face a Friday deadline to negotiate consensus on next steps to cut fossil fuel emissions and otherwise combat climate change. Saudi Arabia’s team in Glasgow has introduced proposals ranging from a call to quit negotiations at 6 p.m. every day to what climate negotiation veterans allege are more complex efforts to block agreement on tough measures.

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Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer, and a handful of other countries long have been accused of seeking to block measures that would crack down on fossil fuels. This year’s U.N. talks have seen a chorus of daily complaints from climate advocates at the conference.

“Other governments now need to isolate the Saudi delegation if they want this” conference “to succeed for everyone, not just fossil fuel interests,” said Jennifer Morgan, executive director of the Greenpeace environmental group.