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COP28’s UAE president defends climate science comments | Climate News

Sultan al-Jaber hits out at ‘repeated makes an attempt to undermine’ the work of the COP28 presidency in Dubai.     

The Emirati head of the United Nations climate conference has insisted that he respects local weather science after he got here below fireplace over a leaked video through which he questioned the science on fossil fuels.

Amid powerful talks over the way forward for fossil fuels, Sultan al-Jaber, who can also be head of UAE nationwide oil firm ADNOC, hit out at “repeated makes an attempt to undermine” the work of the COP28 presidency in Dubai.

“We’re right here as a result of we very a lot imagine and respect the science,” al-Jaber advised a press convention on Monday.

Al-Jaber complained to reporters that “one assertion taken out of context with misrepresentation” had obtained “most protection”.

Exhibiting how sensitive the difficulty has turn into, Jim Skea, the pinnacle of the UN physique tasked with assessing local weather science, appeared alongside al-Jaber to face reporters.

He stated al-Jaber “has been attentive to the science as now we have mentioned it and I believe has totally understood it”.

Al-Jaber stated international greenhouse gasoline emissions should be reduce by 43 p.c by 2030 to restrict warming to 1.5 levels Celsius from pre-industrial ranges – a discount outlined by Shea’s UN Intergovernmental Panel on Local weather Change (IPCC).

The Guardian newspaper printed a video on Sunday displaying al-Jaber having a testy change with former Irish president Mary Robinson throughout a web based discussion board.

“I’m not in any approach signing as much as a dialogue that’s alarmist,” al-Jaber advised the SHE Adjustments Local weather on-line convention on November 21.

“I’m factual and I respect the science, and there’s no science on the market, or no situation on the market, that claims that the phase-out of fossil fuels is what’s going to attain 1.5 (levels).”

The video sparked an outcry amongst NGOs, which had been already outraged by the appointment of an oil firm boss to go the essential local weather negotiations.

“If the COP28 president is guided by science and 1.5C stays his North Star, he should draw the precise conclusions: nothing wanting a full and fast phase-out of fossil fuels will get us there,” stated Romain Ioualalen, of Oil Change Worldwide.

Section down or out?

Al-Jaber stated on Monday that he has stated “again and again that the phase-down and the phase-out of fossil gas is inevitable”.

Though he additionally stated it within the video, al-Jaber had beforehand solely talked publicly of the inevitability of a “phase-down” – a weaker time period because it implies that fossil fuels wouldn’t fully go away.

Including to the confusion, the web site of the COP28 presidency printed a abstract of the primary few days of the talks which stated that 22 heads of state and ministers mentioned “the part down of fossil fuels”.

It didn’t point out a phase-out, which many heads of state and authorities and UN Secretary-Basic Antonio Guterres referred to as for throughout speeches on Friday and Saturday.

A primary draft of a COP28 settlement launched on Friday included each choices – a “phasedown/out” of fossil fuels, that are the biggest contributors to local weather change.

Negotiators should now discover frequent floor throughout talks on account of finish on December 12, with an settlement on the fossil fuels seen as key to the success of COP28.

‘Give the method house’

Members within the talks advised the AFP information company that the European Union, a number of Latin American nations and island nations again the 1.5C goal, which suggests a fast phase-out.

Different developed nations, together with oil producers comparable to the US, Canada, Norway and Australia additionally defend the 1.5C objective however with much less bold paths out of fossil fuels.

Most African nations again a phase-out however with an extended delay for creating nations.

Main producers Russia and Saudi Arabia and prime shopper China oppose mentioning fossil fuels within the textual content.

Al-Jaber pleaded for the method to be given “the house it wants. And if something, choose us on what we are going to ship on the finish of this COP.”

A panel table sits along the length of a stage in Dubai, behind which officials sit. The background of the stage is a green screen with logos like "Dubai 2023" and "COP UAE."
COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber, centre, attends the opening session on the COP28 UN local weather summit, on Thursday, November 30, 2023, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates [File: Peter Dejong/AP]

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