Cop28 presidency 'respects the science', Dr Sultan Al Jaber says

Purported comments around fossil fuels were taken out of context, he says

Cop28 President Sultan Al Jaber speaks at a press conference on Monday. EPA
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Dr Sultan Al Jaber has said he and the Cop28 presidency “respect the science” and understand the urgent need for climate action.

Dr Al Jaber spoke at a press conference on Monday following media reports that he had, at an online debate several weeks ago, questioned to what extent phasing out fossil fuels would have an impact on climate change.

“Let’s remember why we’re all here. We’re all here because we’ve made a very clear call to action,” Dr Al Jaber said.

I am quite surprised with the constant and repeated attempts to undermine the work of the Cop28 presidency
Dr Sultan Al Jaber

“The UAE takes this task with humility and responsibility and fully understands the urgency behind this matter. We are here because we fully believe and respect the science.”

In an online session hosted by former Irish president Mary Robinson in November, Dr Al Jaber was asked about the need to tackle fossil fuels as a major source of climate change.

Speaking on Monday, he said the suggestion that he said there was “no science” to support demands for phase-out of fossil fuels had been taken out of context.

“I am quite surprised with the constant and repeated attempts to undermine the work of the Cop28 presidency,” he said.

Emissions must be reduced by 43 per cent by 2030 to keep the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels within reach, he said.

“And we need to make that happen to keep 1.5°C within reach.”

A series of major agreements on the first five days of the summit had shown that the Cop28 presidency was serious about tackling climate change, he said.

“In the first four days at Cop28, I believe we have already set a high bar for delivery,” Dr Al Jaber said.

“There is a real sense of momentum, traction, positivity and excitement. I can also tell you that there is real hope out there, across the site and across everyone I came across.

“There is real hope and optimism that this is a major inflection point and we cannot miss the opportunity. This is our opportunity to deliver a real and tangible paradigm shift that will course correct and put us on the right track of keeping 1.5°C within reach.”

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Updated: December 05, 2023, 7:17 AM