Fossil phase-out unnecessary?: Climate summit president questions scientific consensus

Fossil phase-out unnecessary?
Climate summit president questions scientific consensus

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Sultan Al-Jaber is controversial as the host of the climate conference in Dubai simply because he is also the head of the state oil company. A video link from November now provides a deep insight. According to a report, he believes phasing out fossil fuels is unnecessary.

According to a report, the President of the World Climate Conference in Dubai, Sultan Al-Jaber, has questioned the scientific consensus that an exit from fossil fuels is necessary to achieve the international 1.5 degree target.

The “Guardian” and the “Centre for Climate Reporting” reported, citing their own information, that Al-Jaber said in a video link with UN representatives in November, among others, that there was “no science” to prove that the exit was possible fossil fuels are necessary to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees compared to pre-industrial times.

Al-Jaber is controversial as the host of the climate conference because he is also the head of the state oil company. According to the report, in the video conference he claimed that development without the use of fossil energy was not possible “if you don’t want to catapult the world into the Stone Age.”

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, however, only emphasized at the beginning of the COP28 climate conference: “The science is clear. The 1.5 degree target is only possible if we finally stop burning fossil fuels.” When asked by the Guardian, the COP28 presidency did not deny the statements, but went on to say that Al-Jaber had referred to the fact that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change also assumes in its scenarios that fossil fuels will continue to play a role in the energy system of the future – albeit a smaller one.

Leading climate researcher Friederike Otto from Imperial College London told the Guardian: “If we fail to phase out fossil fuels at COP28, several million more people will be in the firing line of climate change.” This would be “a bad legacy” for the Dubai conference.

The global phase-out of coal, oil and gas is one of the most contentious issues in Dubai. The Emirates and several other countries want to continue to rely on fossil fuels and use technologies such as CO2 storage or capture. However, experts consider these to be scientifically controversial, very expensive and cannot be used on a larger scale in a timely manner.

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