COP28 climate summit organizer deletes ‘exit from fossil fuels’ in early days summary |  outside

COP28 climate summit organizer deletes ‘exit from fossil fuels’ in early days summary | outside

to updateIn a summary of the first days of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), the UN climate conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is no longer talking about exiting fossil fuels, but rather about reducing the use of fossil fuels. The United Arab Emirates, which chairs the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), was not mentioned in the text of dozens of speeches delivered by world leaders who explicitly called for an exit.


Last updated:
12-23-04, 22:48

Afghan National Police, Belga, The Guardian

On December 1 and 2, 176 heads of state, government and international leaders gathered at the World Climate Action Summit (WCAS) to explain their climate plans. The UAE has now published a summary of this, in the words of its choice.

“Leaders also highlight opportunities to reduce emissions in every sector and accelerate technological innovation to address Scope 3 emissions, as well as phase down fossil fuels to support a transition consistent with limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius,” the summary said. is reading.

This therefore relates to “reducing fossil fuels” (“phasing in”), whereas the first version of the final text still referred to “reducing or exiting fossil fuels” (“phasing in or out”).

Conflict of interest

The summary also misses dozens of speeches by world leaders who categorically call for an exit from fossil fuels. During the opening ceremony on Thursday, UN climate chief Simon Steele called for a “final farewell.”

Sultan Al Jaber, 50, president of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) and CEO of state oil company Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), confirmed on Sunday that there is “no science” behind the appeals to move away from fossil fuels. He was subjected to a lot of criticism for this statement. And now he’s back at it. His comment was said to have been “misinterpreted”. The Sultan said on Monday that he “certainly believes in climate science and respects it.”

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However, the fact that Al Jaber is even the head of the climate summit has already been a topic of discussion in recent weeks. Many observers see the oil baron’s presidency as a dangerous conflict of interest.

Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber in Iris Mary Robinson. © ANP / EPA / YouTube/Climate Change

Sultan conversation

Al Jaber also previously claimed that there is “no science” behind the demand for a gradual and complete phase-out of oil, coal and gas to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. He also says that eliminating fossil fuels will return the world to “life in caves.” Al-Jaber made his first comments during a live event on November 21, as discovered by the British newspaper The Guardian and investigative journalists at the Climate Reporting Centre.

look. These statements by Ahmed Al-Jaber caused an uproar:

The Sultan was extremely upset after the intervention of Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland and the United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Change. “We are in an absolute crisis that affects women and children more than anyone else,” Robinson said. “This is because we have not yet committed to phasing out fossil fuels. This is the only decision that must be made by COP28.


Al-Jaber’s reaction was angry. “I would be willing to come to this meeting if there was a sober and mature conversation. I refuse to participate in alarmist discussions. There is no science that says phasing out fossil fuels would limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees. Also show me how “Achieving sustainable social and economic development by phasing out fossil fuels. We will have to live in caves again.”

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Shortly before the summit, leaked documents also revealed that the UAE planned to use the climate meeting to promote oil and gas contracts to participating governments.

Al-Jaber’s statements contradict what United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) last Friday. “The science is clear: 1.5°C will only be possible if we stop burning all fossil fuels. Not a reduction, but a complete phase-out, with a clear timeline.”

Antonio Guterres.
Antonio Guterres. © Getty Images via AFP

The German Science Institute for Climate Analytics responded angrily to Al Jaber’s statements, describing them as “incredible, revealing, disturbing and aggressive.” “The phrase that we will have to live in caves again has been used by the fossil fuel sector for years and amounts to climate denial. We can find the way to limit global warming to 1.5°C in the latest net-zero emissions scenario set out by the IEA International states that new development of fossil fuels is out of the question. The science is very clear. A phase out is needed by mid-century and this would improve the lives of all humanity.


More than a hundred countries already support the complete phase-out of fossil fuels. Others such as Russia, Saudi Arabia and China oppose this. It is one of the main points of contention at COP28. According to Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman, no government believes it is possible to exit or reduce the use of fossil fuels. “I will not mention names,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg. “But countries that really believe in reducing or exiting hydrocarbons need to come out and make a plan for how to do that from January 1, 2024.”

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At COP26 in 2021, it was first decided to “completely phase out” the use of coal, but at the last minute this was recast to “phase out”.

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