President Of UN Climate Confab Says There’s ‘No Science’ Behind Push To Phase Out Fossil Fuels

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Nick Pope Contributor
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Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the president of this year’s United Nations (UN) climate summit, said that there is “no science” behind calls to eliminate fossil fuels to counter global warming, according to The Guardian.

Al Jaber also said that getting rid of fossil fuels would not allow for sustainable economic growth “unless you want to take the world back into caves,” according to The Guardian. He made the remarks during an exchange with Mary Robinson, the chair of the Elders group and a former UN special envoy for climate change, during a virtual event held on Nov. 21.

“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,” Al Jaber told Robinson, referencing the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold for increase in global average temperatures that many scientists and activists point to as critical to stay below, according to The Guardian. (RELATED: White House Deploys Kamala Harris To Represent US At Elite Climate Summit: ‘It’s Only Fitting’)

“Please help me, show me the roadmap for a phase-out of fossil fuel that will allow for sustainable socioeconomic development, unless you want to take the world back into caves,” Al Jaber told Robinson, according to The Guardian.

Al Jaber’s comments drew the ire of other UN officials, including UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and climate activists, who advocate for a much stronger international effort to abandon fossil fuels and switch the world’s economy to relying on green energy generation, according to The Guardian.

“This story is just another attempt to undermine the Presidency’s agenda, which has been clear and transparent and backed by tangible achievements by the COP president and his team,” a spokesperson for COP28 told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “As COP28 continues this week, the COP president is focused on working with parties to deliver a plan that will deliver maximum transition and minimal disruption for everyone in the world. He has repeatedly communicated our position on fossil fuels and invited all parties to work together and come up with solutions that can achieve alignment, common ground and consensus.”

The COP president was unwavering in saying reaching 1.5C involves action across a number of areas and sectors. The COP President is clear that phasing down and out of fossil fuels is inevitable and that we must keep 1.5C within reach. We are not sure what this story was supposedly revealing. Nothing in it is new or breaking news.

Al Jaber’s presidency has also generated other controversies, as he runs the Emirati state-owned renewable firm and the state-owned oil and gas giant. Leaked documents showed that Emirati officials planned to use COP28-related meetings to discuss potential business dealings related to the two firms with foreign officials, and separate documents revealed how the companies viewed Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry as a key player in efforts to secure their future financial success.

Despite Al Jaber’s comments and the appearances of potential conflicts of interest, the conference he is overseeing has resulted in several major developments. For example, several of the world’s developed countries, including the U.S., pledged hundreds of millions of dollars combined to a de facto international “climate reparations” fund, and American officials approved a new set of methane emissions regulations that could severely impact the domestic oil and gas industry.

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