Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Controversy after COP28 President’s Statements on “Science and Abandoning Fossil Fuels”


The President of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), Emirati Sultan Al Jaber, said that giving up fossil fuels is inevitable, but there is “no scientific study” that proves it is necessary to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. A centenary that sparked a lot of controversy.

The British Guardian newspaper website published a video of a November 21 conversation between al-Jaber and former Irish President Mary Robinson.

Al Jaber, chairman of the UAE’s national oil company ADNOC, spoke online with Robinson, head of the activist group Working for Peace and Human Rights, as part of an initiative organized by She Changes Climate.

Asked about his rejection of the call to abandon fossil fuels, Al-Jaber said: “In no way will I support anxiety-provoking discussions. There is no scientific study and no scenario that would allow us to get rid of fossil fuels. We need to reach 1.5 degrees Celsius.” “1.5 degrees Celsius is my guiding star. In my opinion, reducing and phasing out fossil fuels is inevitable. It is necessary. But we have to be serious and practical.”

He added: “Show me a blueprint for phasing out fossil fuels that is compatible with social and economic development without returning the world to the cave age.”

He reiterated his stance from June that fossil fuels must be cut, but first an energy system for the future must be built, and developed countries must set a “model” in this.

But what shocked some activists and experts in the climate field and sparked great controversy was Al-Jaber’s claim about “science” and the “age of caves”.

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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday, on the sidelines of a climate summit, that “the science is clear: the 1.5 degrees Celsius barrier cannot be reached unless we stop burning fossil fuels. Fuels, reduction or no reduction, on the contrary, it will end gradually within a clear time frame.”

Al-Jaber responded to the “leaked document” from the Emirates

The head-designate of the Conference of the Parties on Climate Change, Sultan Al Jaber, denied a report that indicated the UAE wanted to conclude more oil and gas deals during the climate summit (COP28) starting on Wednesday. That he has agreed to step down as chairman of ADNOC… Allegations of anti-interest.

The executive director of the non-governmental organization “Climate Analysis” criticized al-Jaber’s statements. According to the Guardian newspaper, he said it was “worrying”, adding that “returning to caves is an archaic analogy for the fossil fuel industry and is close to denying the climate problem”.

David King, head of the Climate Crisis Advisory Group, told the Guardian: “It is worrying to hear the head of the climate conference defending the use of fossil fuels. Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is undeniable. We must act.” We must rapidly reduce carbon emissions and reduce the use of fossil fuels by 2035.”

In its report released in September, the International Energy Agency estimates that “fossil fuel production will need to decrease by 83 percent between 2022 and 2050, and production will need to be 88 exajoules (EJ) in 2022, compared to 511 exajoules.” (Exajoules are the unit of energy measurement.)

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This is what the COP28 Presidency confirmed through its spokesperson, who told Agence France-Presse: “The International Energy Agency and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change under a 1.5°C scenario clearly state that fossil fuels will have a role in the future energy system. “”Though a minor role.”

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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