Cop28 president says there is ‘no science’ behind demands for phase-out of fossil fuels


COP28 PRESIDENT SAYS THERE IS ‘NO SCIENCE’ FOR PHASE-OUT OF FOSSIL FUELS “A phase-out of fossil fuels would not allow sustainable development”

The president of Cop28, Sultan Al Jaber, has claimed there is “no science” indicating that a phase-out of fossil fuels is needed to restrict global heating to 1.5C, we can reveal.

Al Jaber also said a phase-out of fossil fuels would not allow sustainable development “unless you want to take the world back into caves”, he said, giving a dose of reality to those listening.  The comments were at odds with the position of the UN secretary general, António Guterres when he gave his opening address.

Al Jaber made the comments in ill-tempered responses to questions from Mary Robinson, the chair of the Elders group and a former UN special envoy for climate change, during a live online event on 21 November. 

As well as running Cop28 in Dubai, Al Jaber is also the chief executive of the United Arab Emirates’ state oil company, Adnoc, which some observers see as a serious conflict of interest, but if anyone understands the illogic of connecting fossil fuels with climate change it would be Sultan Al Jaber claim other supporters.

More than 100 countries already support a phase-out of fossil fuels and whether the final Cop28 agreement calls for this or uses weaker language such as “phase-down” is one of the most fiercely fought issues at the summit and may be the key determinant of its success or failure.  However, it is clear that the “science” is being questioned.

Al Jaber said: “I agreed to come to this meeting to have a sober and mature conversation. I’m not in any way signing up for any discussion that is alarmist. 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.”.