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Al Jaber flags ‘strong views’ and calls for collaboration

Sultan Al Jaber encouraged environmental lobbyists and the hydrocarbon industry to work together 'to do something unprecedented' Cop28/Christopher Pike
Sultan Al Jaber encouraged environmental lobbyists and the hydrocarbon industry to work together 'to do something unprecedented'
  • Al Jaber sworn in as Cop28 president
  • Acknowledges fossil fuel role
  • Official agenda agreed

Cop28 president Sultan Al Jaber told delegates at the opening of the global climate change conference in Dubai that he was aware that there were “strong views” about the inclusion of fossil fuel companies in the discussions.

In his opening remarks, the Emirati head, who is also chief executive of the state oil company Adnoc, encouraged environmental lobbyists to work with the hydrocarbon industry to reach consensus at the Dubai event and “to do something unprecedented”.

“It is essential that no issue is left off the table … that includes the role of fossil fuels,” Al Jaber said. “We have the power to do something unprecedented. I ask you to work together.” 

He said that the Cop28 UAE presidency had made a “bold choice to proactively engage with oil and gas companies”, as it hosted the two-week climate change summit. He noted that many of them have now put in place emissions reduction strategies. 

“We had many discussions. Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy. But now, many of these companies have committed to zeroing out methane emissions by 2030, and adopted net zero 2050 targets for the first time.”

Al Jaber added: “I am grateful they have stepped up to join this game-changing journey, but it is not enough, and I know they can do much more.” 

Al Jaber, who is also the UAE minister of industry, was officially sworn in as president of Cop28 UAE, the host of this year’s United Nations climate summit, in a ceremony on Thursday. 

He has previously been known as president-designate but today’s ceremony marked the official transfer of the role from Cop27 president Sameh Shoukry. 

Crowd, Person, People Sameh Shoukry, president of Cop27, has officially handed over the reins to Al JaberCop28/Christopher Pike
Sameh Shoukry, president of Cop27, has officially handed over the reins to Al Jaber

Also on Thursday, participating nations approved the Cop28 UAE presidency’s official “negotiations agenda”, which sets the parametres for the discussions ahead and provides clarity on what needs to be done to meet the 1.5 degree maximum global warming target set by the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Al Jaber reiterated his calls for the world to accelerate climate action and for Cop28 participating nations to find “swift consensus on the agenda and a quick move to text”. 

“The science has spoken … the moment is now to find a new road,” he said.

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