Sultan Al Jaber: COP28 climate summit leader says ‘no science’ behind fossil fuel phase-out, threatens scientists

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Sultan Al Jaber, President of the COP28 Climate Summit, speaks during a presentation in Dubai on December 2, 2023.


Headed by Oil Executive Sultan Al Jaber COP28 Climate Summit In Dubai, in the days running up to the annual UN-sponsored talks, he said there was “no science” that suggested phasing out fossil fuels was necessary to keep global warming within a critical limit – comments that sent shockwaves through COP28.

As climate scientists and advocates voiced concern over the growing views and direction of the talks, al-Jaber held a surprise press conference on Monday, where he strongly defended his commitment to climate science and said his views had been misconstrued.

At the COP28 climate summit, the future role of fossil fuels was one of the most contentious issues. some “Phase out,” others call weak language “phase-down.” Scientific reports show that fossil fuels must be phased out quickly to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius — the goal of the Paris climate agreement, and a threshold that scientists warn will be too difficult for humans and ecosystems to adapt to.

At the same time, Al-Jaber said the above She is changing the climate group event On November 21, it came to light on Sunday A story published by the Guardian, and in a video reviewed by CNN. Al Jaber was asked by Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and current chair of the Elders Group, an independent group of world leaders, if she would lead the phase-out of fossil fuels.

In his response, Al Jaber told Robinson, “There’s no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says phasing out fossil fuels is going to reach 1.5.” He said he expected She Changes to come to the climate meeting to have a “calm and mature conversation” and “didn’t sign up for any cautious discussion”.

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He continued that the 1.5 degree target is his “north star” and that a phase-down and gradual phase-out of fossil fuels is “inevitable” but “we have to be real, serious and practical about it.”

In increasingly diverse responses to Robinson pushing him to the point, al-Jaber told her, “Please, help me, unless you want to show me a road map for phasing out fossil fuels that will allow for sustainable socio-economic development. Let’s get the world back into the caves.”

Al Jaber chaired the COP28 summit is controversial. The Emirati businessman is the UAE’s climate ambassador and chairman of its renewables company’s board of directors, but he is also the president. State-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).

Al Jaber told reporters on Monday, “I’ve always been clear that we make sure everything we do is science-centric.”

“I honestly think there’s some confusion out there, and there’s misrepresentation and misrepresentation,” he said, adding, “I’ve said time and time again that the phase-out and phase-out of fossil fuels is inevitable. In fact, it’s essential… it’s orderly, fair, just, Be responsible too.”

A spokesperson for the COP28 committee told CNN in a statement Sunday, “This story is yet another attempt to undermine the president’s agenda, which is clear and transparent given the solid track record of the COP president and his team.”

“The COP President makes it clear that phasing out and phasing out fossil fuels is inevitable, and that 1.5C must be kept within reach. Stocks) conclusion. Attempts to undermine this will not soften our resolve.

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02:01 – Source: CNN

Watch how 28 years of COP climate summits played out in 2 minutes

Fossil fuels are the main driver of the climate crisis and as the world continues to burn oil, coal and gas, global temperatures are rising to unprecedented levels. Seen this year Records global temperatureIt has driven Deadly extreme weather events.

Fossil fuel production in 2030 It is expected to double UN says what is needed to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees A recent report from several scientific organizations, including the Environment Program, found that The report used scenarios used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) to reach its conclusion.

“If the IPCC and the IEA are not considered science, I don’t know what is,” said Bloi Achakulvisut, a climate researcher at the Stockholm Environment Institute and one of the authors of the report. “All fossil fuels must be phased out, especially if carbon dioxide removal and carbon capture and storage measures are not scaled up,” he told CNN.

refers to carbon sequestration A collection of techniques It aims to remove carbon pollution from the air and capture emissions from power plants and other polluting facilities. Some argue that carbon capture can be an important tool to reduce planet-warming pollution, while others argue that these technologies are expensive, unproven at scale, and distract from policies to reduce fossil fuel use.

Scientists and climate groups have strongly criticized Al Jaber’s comments.

In a statement, Romain Iolalon, head of global policy at the non-profit organization Oil Change International, said Al Jaber’s statements during the panel discussion were “dangerous,” “refuting the science” and “raising deep concerns about the president’s ability to preside over UN climate talks.”

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Jory Rogelge, a climate professor at Imperial College London, said he strongly recommended Al Jaber. Revisit the latest report From the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The report, unanimously endorsed by 195 countries, including the United Arab Emirates, outlines a range of ways to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius – all of which represent a practical phase-out of fossil fuels in the first half of the century. Will it lead the world back to the caves? Absolutely not,” he said in a statement.

Mohamed Adowe, director of climate think tank Power Shift Africa, said Al Jaber’s comments were a “wake-up call” for the world and COP28 negotiators. “They are not going to get any help from the COP Presidency to deliver a strong effect on the fossil fuel phase,” he said in a statement.

This COP summit will complete the first global stakes, where countries will assess their progress on climate action progress and how to work together. Get the world on track To curb catastrophic global warming.

CNN’s Angela Dewan and Rachel Ramirez contributed reporting

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