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Sultan Al Jaber: fossil fuel phase-out is “my North Star”

COP28 president Sultan Al Jaber said he respects science, following his earlier comments that there was “no science” behind calls for the end of fossil fuels to limit temperature rises to 1.5C.

The entrance to the venue of COP28 in Dubai (Photo credit: Sophie Davies/Gas Outlook)

The president of COP28, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, stated on day 5 of the climate talks in Dubai that there’s no doubt in both his direction personally and the UAE’s towards complying with Paris Agreement goals.

He also stated and emphasized on Dec. 4th the clarity of his statements’ attempts to push all 198 parties of COP28 to decrease fossil fuel consumption to reach a 43% goal by 2030 and achieve zero net by 2050.

Al Jaber has said he and the United Arab Emirates COP28 presidency “respect the science” and understand the urgency behind the need for climate action.

He spoke at a press conference on Monday following media reports that emerged this week saying he had, at an online debate several weeks ago, questioned to what extent phasing out fossil fuels would have an impact on climate change.

“I am a man of science” Al Jaber said. “Science is stating the fact of which we must decrease fossil fuel to 43% by 2030 and to 0% by 2050 in order for humanity to be able to have an inhabitable planet. So I am complying with the science, it’s just logic,” he added.

On Dec. 2nd,, fifty oil and gas companies, which account for more than 40 percent of global oil production, signed pledges to reduce methane and carbon dioxide emissions.

They signed the Oil and Gas Removal Charter, which calls for achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 or earlier. This is in addition to achieving “near-zero” methane emissions by 2030.

To reduce methane emissions by 2030, investment of $75 billion is needed. Already the UAE have pledged 1 billion dollars to this end.

The Decarbonisation Charter is part of what the UAE dubbed a “global accelerator,” a system of activities aimed at accelerating the energy transition and significantly reducing global emissions.

The pledge was signed by Saudi Arabia’s Aramco, the world’s biggest company, and 28 other state-owned oil companies including the UAE’s Adnoc and Brazil’s Petrobras. However critics say the commitment — which is only voluntary — crucially does not cover scope 3 emissions.