The current president of COP28, this year's oil magnate leading the United Nations–backed climate change summit, is attempting to walk back a series of incendiary comments in which he asserted there was "no science" supporting the effort to phase out fossil fuels, Ellie Quinlan Houghtaling reported for The New Republic.
Al Jaber's insistence on the "facts" contrasts starkly with what he said just a few days ago. I Photo: Arctic Circle Wikimedia Commons
"I know that there are strong views among some countries about the phase-down or phaseout of fossil fuels. Allow me to say this again: This is the first COP presidency ever to actively call on parties to come forward with language on all fossil fuels for the negotiated text," he said.
However, Al Jaber's insistence on the "facts" contrasts starkly with what he said just a few days ago.
"If we fail with the phase-out on fossil fuels, then we are not going to be successful on climate mitigation," Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of the UN’s World Meteorological Organization, told Sam Meredith of CNBC in Dubai.
Asked for a response to Al-Jaber’s comments, Taalas said there is "very clear science" behind calls for a fossil fuel phase-out. "This impact of carbon dioxide on atmospheric warming, that’s very basic physics…There’s no question about that."