Observers in the negotiations said Saudi Arabia and Russia were among several countries insisting the conference focus only on reducing climate pollution... and not on targeting fossil fuels.
At least 80 countries, including the U.S., European Union and many poor, climate-vulnerable nations are demanding a COP28 deal that calls clearly for an eventual end to fossil fuel use.
SOLOMON ISLANDS' PERMANENT SECRETARY OF THE MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, DR MELCHIOR MATAKI: "Mr. President, these COPs have been going on for a very long time."
An official with oil-producing group OPEC addressed delegates.
"Ultimately this all-energy, all-people and all-technologies approach needs to be in adherence to the principles of equity and differentiated responsibilities."
Earlier this week, OPEC sent a letter urging its members and allies to reject any mention of fossil fuels in the final deal.
The letter was criticized by the EU's climate commissioner.
"It is clear that by many, including by me, that [the OPEC letter] has been seen as out of whack. As unhelpful."
Other countries, including India and China, have not explicitly endorsed a fossil fuel phase-out but have backed a popular call for boosting renewable energy.
China's top climate diplomat described this year's climate summit as the hardest in his career.
Climate-vulnerable countries said a rejection of a fossil fuel mention at COP28 would threaten the entire world.
VANUATU'S MINISTER OF CLIMATE CHANGE, RALPH REGENVANU: "The science tells us, tells us that these commitments are crucial..."
A sentiment echoed by protesters in Dubai.
BRAZILIAN ACTIVIST DANIELA MARQUES: "We're here to say how mega-corporations and fossil fuels industry is melting the planet. We're here to defend a phase-out fossil fuels."
COP28's president told nations on Saturday to speed up their work, saying there were currently more areas of divergence than agreement.
SULTAN AL-JABER: "The window is closing to close the gaps."
The summit is scheduled to end on Tuesday.