‘No science’ behind fossil fuel plan, says COP28 President

Head of the UN climate summit and oil executive Sultan al Jaber has caused outrage after revealing his belief the ecological solution may not depend on reducing carbon emitting fuels. 

The comments were made during an online question and answer session, with The Guardian first to report on the controversy. 

al Jaber argued that limiting global warming to 1.5C may not be reliant on cutting down on the use of oil and gas. The statement was aimed at another panelist, Mary Robinson, a former UN climate envoy and respected scientist. 

‘[T]here is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5C,’ al Jaber said. ‘Please help me, show me the roadmap for a phase-out of fossil fuel that will allow for sustainable socioeconomical development, unless you want to take the world back to cave.’

However, despite widespread some analysts suggest al Jaber’s words have been taken out of context given he also said the phase out of fossil fuel is ‘inevitable’ and ‘essential’, and merely emphasised the ‘need to be real, serious and pragmatic about it.’ 

The incident happened just days after the UN Secretary General António Guterres urged world leaders to apply fair pricing to carbon by removing unfair subsidies, commit to an absolute end to fossil fuel use and introduce a windfall tax on oil and gas profits. 

‘Polar ice and glaciers are vanishing before our eyes, causing havoc the world over: from landslides and floods, to rising seas,’ said Guturres. ‘But this is just one symptom of the sickness bringing our climate to its knees. A sickness only you, global leaders, can cure.’

More on COP28:

COP28: Delegates must Give Wildlife a Seat at the Table – EnvironmentJournal

COP28 fossil fuel hopes boosted with local government demands – EnvironmentJournal

COP28 registers early win with climate disaster fund – EnvironmentJournal


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