COP28: “We respect science.” How did the head of the climate summit justify himself after his controversial statements about fossil fuels

COP28: “We respect science.” How did the head of the climate summit justify himself after his controversial statements about fossil fuels

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The future of fossil fuels is at the heart of discussions at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai. On Monday 4 December, the head of the climate summit, who is also the head of an oil giant, Sultan Al Jaber, was forced to explain himself after shocking comments reported by The Guardian.

“There is no scientific study and no scenario that says exiting fossil fuels will allow us to reach 1.5°C (the Paris Agreements target, editor’s note).” The small phrase made by Sultan Al Jaber, President of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), during an informal online exchange with former Irish President Mary Robinson on November 21, sparked controversy in the corridors of the climate summit in Dubai.

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So much so that the much-criticized head of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) — who has been accused by environmentalists for months of also chairing the UAE oil company ADNOC — on Monday embarked on a long exercise in self-justification after revealing some facts. guardianwho reported these controversial comments in an article published on Sunday.

“Do not return the world to the cave age.”

“We are here because we believe in science and we respect it,” Sultan Al Jaber said at a press conference called by Jim Skia, head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the group of climate experts commissioned by the United Nations. And going forward without waiting for journalists’ questions, as if he wanted to better justify himself: “I have repeatedly said that the reduction and exit from fossil fuels is inevitable.”

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Words he clearly said during his conversation with the Irish politician and to which he added: “Show me the road map out of fossil fuels that is compatible with social and economic development, without excluding the cave-age world. Pointing out that it is necessary to be “serious and practical.”

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In his statement on Monday, Sultan Al Jaber once again supported the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 43% by 2030, compared to 2019, which is recommended by the societal science approach to limit temperature rise to +1.5 degrees Celsius.

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