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Inconsistencies at COP28

2023-12-05T22:16:51.322Z

Highlights: Sultan al-Jaber, president of COP28, said there is no scientific evidence that fossil fuels help to achieve the goal of not exceeding an increase of 1.5º C. Al Jaber is the UAE's minister of industry and advanced technology and head of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Adnoc. The conflict of interest involved in his appointment is obvious, as he was formally opposed to the UN by more than fifty social organizations from the United States and the European Union.


The profile of Sultan al-Jaber does not favor the strategic role that the president has to play at the summit


The president of COP28, Sultan al-Jaber, scandalized delegates at the climate summit in Dubai on Sunday when he made public statements in which he argued that there is no scientific evidence that the progressive decline in fossil fuels helps to achieve the goal of not exceeding an increase of 1.5º C. established in the Paris Agreement. With that statement, Al Jaber not only denied what science already categorically affirms, but also ignored what the IPCC, the group of experts that advises the UN on climate change, says on the matter, and questioned the words of United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, who opened the summit with an unequivocal warning: "We can't put out a fire with a fossil fuel hose."

The scandal has been of such magnitude that a few hours later Al Jaber has been forced to qualify his statements and stress that he believes in and respects science a lot. Notwithstanding this rectification, one cannot overlook what this statement implies. The seriousness lies in the fact that it calls into question the enormous scientific knowledge that exists on the subject and gives wings to the denialist currents that, among other aspects, are characterized by their contempt for science. This is especially serious in a year in which emissions from fossil fuels – oil, gas and coal – have not stopped growing due to the increase in emissions in countries such as India and China. It is clear that global warming is close to the safe levels established by science.

Al Jaber's statements once again focus on the suitability of his appointment as president of COP28, already controversial because it is being held in one of the main oil-producing countries. Sultan al-Jaber is the UAE's minister of industry and advanced technology and head of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Adnoc. The conflict of interest involved in his appointment is obvious, as he was formally opposed to the UN by more than fifty social organizations from the United States and the European Union.

COP28 is crucial to move forward on an ambitious path of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, greenhouse gases, renewable energy development and fair adaptation policies for the entire planet. The strategic role played by the presidency in facilitating discussions and promoting agreements would have made it advisable to have someone whose criteria were more consistent with the objective of the summit. This runs until the 12th. Perhaps there is time for what was discussed there to open the eyes of skeptics and lead to agreements that commit as many countries as possible, especially those that contribute the most to climate change with their policies.

Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-12-05

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