Sultan al-Jaber, who is in charge of the UN climate talks that are still going on, has responded to claims that he doesn’t believe in a key part of climate science.
This comes after he said earlier that there was “no science” behind the idea that we need to stop using fossil fuels to keep temperature rise to 1.5C.
“The science is very important to us,” he said on Monday.
The goal of the meeting in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is to make progress on the fight against climate change.
At the 2015 UN climate talks, all countries decided to cut back on the release of gases that warm the planet so that the average rise in temperature over the past few hundred years would stay below 1.5C.
But Mr. Jaber seemed to say that wasn’t true in a live event on November 21 with Mary Robinson, the chair of the Elders group and a former UN special envoy for climate change.
“There is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says that the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5C,” he stated.
Monday, the fifth day of talks at the UN, Mr. Jaber said, “Let me make it clear where I stand on the science.”
“To be honest, I think there is some confusion and false information out there.” “I am surprised by how often people are trying to undermine the work of the COP28 presidency,” he said.
“My background is as an engineer. He also said, “Yes, I respect science in everything I do. It has been very important to my career growth.”
It took Mr. Jaber 50 years to become an engineer and an economist.
“I have said over and over that the phase down and phase out of fossil fuel is inevitable,” he said. This was one of the most strong things he had said about the future of oil, coal, and gas.
On Monday, he spoke while sat next to Jim Skea, who is the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Prof. Skea said, “I can say that Dr. Sultan has paid attention to the science.”
He said he wanted to make it clear that he spoke for the agreed upon scientific view around the world, which had been approved by states.
He also said that he wanted to say again what the IPCC says about fossil fuels.
“I will be very clear about it. “If global warming stays within 1.5 degrees and doesn’t go over that by much or any, fossil fuel use will have dropped by a lot by 2050, and coal use will have stopped completely,” he said.
The question of how and when to use less oil, coal, and gas is at the center of the UN talks.
Some countries don’t want to agree to stop using oil, coal, and gas completely because their businesses depend on them.
Some people think that technologies are used to collect carbon dioxide, which means that the world can still burn a lot of fossil fuels.
But countries that are most affected by climate change want much stronger promises to get rid of all fossil fuels.
People don’t like that the UAE is in charge of the COP28 talks since it is one of the top 10 oil and gas suppliers in the world. Mr. Jaber is also in charge of the huge Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adom).
On Monday morning, Tina Stege, who is the Marshall Islands’ climate envoy, spoke for countries that are sensitive to climate change.
“1.5C is what the president calls his North Star.” “That’s what we’re here to do,” she said.
Mr. Jaber also talked about rumors that he had a bad attitude with Ms. Robinson, who was in charge of the event in November.
“I had a conversation with someone I have a great deal of respect for,” he told me.
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