The president of COP28, Sultan al-Jaber, made comments against the need to phase out fossil fuels to limit climate change to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The U.S. climate envoy, John Kerry, expressed the need for the COP to be committed to phasing out unabated fossil fuels, in contrast to al-Jaber’s comments. Al-Jaber’s role as CEO of the UAE’s state-owned oil firm, ADNOC, has raised concerns about his stance on phasing out fossil fuels.
Despite this, Kerry has continued to support al-Jaber and believes his words may have been misconstrued. Al-Jaber himself clarified that he views moving off fossil fuels as “inevitable” and “essential.” However, he has faced criticism for failing to address the UAE’s increasing oil production. Other climate scientists have disputed his dismissal of the science supporting a fossil fuel phaseout. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has expressed disappointment in the industry’s response to reducing emissions.
Kerry has emphasized the need for the UAE to cut oil and gas production, as a way to address the growing concerns about climate change. Overall, there is ongoing controversy and debate regarding the stance of COP28’s president on fossil fuel phaseout and its impact on climate change. The alliance of 50 companies pledging to reduce their emissions, announced by al-Jaber, has also faced skepticism from U.N. Secretary-General Guterres.
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