Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Al Jaber promises Cop28 is focused on ‘the science’

Sultan Al Jaber said there had been 'misrepresentation and misinterpretation' of his position Reuters/Thaier Al-Sudani
Sultan Al Jaber said there had been 'misrepresentation and misinterpretation' of his position
  • Cop28 chief defends record
  • Science remarks ‘misinterpreted’
  • Judge us on results, says Al Jaber

Dr Sultan Al Jaber defended his work as president of Cop28 on Monday, after criticism of remarks he made about climate science.

“Everything this presidency has been working on, and continues to work on, is focused and centred around the science,” he told reporters in a press briefing at the UN summit.

The Guardian newspaper published an article on Sunday with the headline “Cop28 president says there is ‘no science’ behind demands for phase-out of fossil fuels” – but Al Jaber said on Monday he believed there had been “misrepresentation and misinterpretation” of his position.

Logo, Text

“I’m quite surprised at the constant and repeated attempts to undermine the work of the Cop28 presidency,” he told reporters in Dubai.

The “no science” remark comes from a panel discussion in November, when Al Jaber told Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland: “There is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5 [the target for limiting global warning to 1.5C].”

However, he added that the 1.5C target was his “north star” and described the phase-down and phase-out of fossil fuel as “inevitable”.

Speaking at the press conference in Dubai, Jim Skea, chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said fossil fuel use would need to be “greatly reduced” in order to meet the 1.5C target by 2050.

Oil use would have to drop by 60 percent and natural gas consumption by 45 percent, according to Skea, while the use of unabated coal must be completely phased out.

Al Jaber, who is also CEO of state oil giant Adnoc, has come under fire for inviting fossil fuel producers to the negotiating table at this year’s Cop summit.

Tzeporah Berman, a Canadian activist and chair of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative, told AGBI: “Countries who are producing fossil fuels need to stop negotiating with the fossil fuel companies and start regulating them if we’re serious about meeting our climate goals.”

Some 50 oil and natural gas producers, including Saudi Aramco and 29 other national oil companies, signed an agreement on Saturday to reduce their carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 and curb methane emissions to near-zero by 2030.

But Al Jaber stressed that this “bold” step was not enough.

“I know that the oil and gas industries and the heavy-emitting industries can do much more,” he said.

Since Cop28 began on Thursday, eight declarations have been announced, including the creation of an historic loss and damage fund on the opening day.

More than $57 billion in pledges and funding have been unveiled during the first four days. 

Al Jaber said on Monday: “I am committed and determined to deliver the most ambitious response to the global stocktake.

“Judge us on what we will deliver at the end of this.”

Latest articles

FILE PHOTO: United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani Al Zeyoudi gestures during an interview with Reuters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 30, 2022. REUTERS/Abdel Hadi Ramahi/File Photo

UAE and Kenya complete Cepa negotiations

The UAE and Kenya have completed negotiations on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (Cepa) between the two countries. It is the 12th Cepa deal secured by the UAE and its third in Africa, after agreements were signed last year with Mauritius and the Republic of the Congo (Congo-Brazzaville). “The UAE-Kenya Cepa will not only boost […]

Adnoc has bid for German polymer manufacturer Covestro but its offers €55 and €57 per share were rejected

Adnoc faces hurdles in completing ambitious European deals

Abu Dhabi state oil company Adnoc is facing challenges to a duo of major European deals it is trying to get over the finish line, according to media reports. Talks with Austrian energy group OMV have been put on hold to allow parties to navigate a series of disagreements, the Financial Times reported on Friday. […]

The 450 companies operating at Dubai Science Park include AstraZeneca, and the free zone plans to add 200,000 sq ft of lab and office space

Dubai Science Park reveals expansion plans

Dubai’s biotechnology free zone is adding 60 percent more offices, laboratories and warehouses over the next few years to cater for an influx of new companies, its senior vice-president told AGBI.  Dubai Science Park, part of Dubai-listed Tecom Group, is planning an expansion of 200,000 sq ft of additional storage and logistics facilities at the […]

A worker at a phosphate production plant in Metlaoui, Tunisia. Phosphate accounts for 15% of Tunisia's exports

Saudi Arabia loans $55m for Tunisian rail renewal

Saudi Arabia has signed a $55 million loan deal with Tunisia to finance the renewal of the North African country’s rail network.  The railway is used to transport phosphate, a sector that makes up around 4 percent of Tunisia’s GDP and 15 percent of the country’s exports. Tunisia plans to produce eight million tonnes by […]