COP28 head at odds with climate leaders over future for fossil fuels


The incoming president of the UN COP28 summit is at odds with main surroundings ministers over the best way to curb international warming whereas pushing for the continued long-term use of fossil fuels by capturing their carbon emissions.

Speaking at the top of the two-day Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin, Sultan al-Jaber, who can also be the head of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, mentioned fossil fuels would “continue to play a role in the foreseeable future”.

The world ought to preserve “all sources of energy”, he mentioned, whereas lowering emissions through the use of carbon seize and storage, a know-how that has but to be confirmed at scale.

“If we’re serious about mitigating climate change and reducing in a practical manner emissions we must scale up carbon capture technologies,” he mentioned, including that within the United Arab Emirates “we have embraced a comprehensive, holistic approach to the energy transition.”

A “parallel track” was wanted whereas scaling up sources of renewable vitality, he mentioned. “Our aim should be focused on phasing out emissions . . . while allowing socio-economic progress.”

But a number of ministers and delegates at the summit differed on the long-term outlook for continued oil and gasoline manufacturing and use.

German overseas minister Annalena Baerbock, sharing the stage with Jaber for a closing press briefing, mentioned: “We have to get out of fossil fuels, we have to dramatically reduce emissions.” 

The Danish minister for international climate coverage Dan Jørgensen additionally instructed the FT there have been issues “about making sure [CCS] does not become an excuse for not making the [energy] transformation we need”.

“I don’t think we should dismiss [CCS]. There are emissions that we are not able to phase out,” he mentioned, pointing to business examples reminiscent of cement making. However, he added: “This should not be seen as something we do instead of replacing fossils with renewables”. 

Also talking on Wednesday in Berlin, Tina Stege, the climate envoy for the weak Marshall Islands, and Maisa Rojas, Chile’s surroundings minister, known as for “honesty” at COP28 in regards to the finish of fossil gas use.

“We need to really honestly look at where we are, what we haven’t done and what we need to do,” mentioned Stege. “The fossil fuel era has to come to an end.” 

“We . . . want the phase out. We want to make sure if we add new energy, we are taking the old dirty energy out of the system,” added Rojas.

Climate activists have raised issues in regards to the promotion of carbon seize as a climate answer, arguing that it’s a means for oil and gasoline producers to proceed enterprise as regular fairly than placing the equal funding into wind, photo voltaic and different renewable vitality sources.

“We cannot pretend the solutions to the climate crisis lie with unreliable, untested techno fixes that will bring new risks and threats,” mentioned Tasneem Essop, government director of the Climate Action Network.

From proper to left, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, US climate envoy John Kerry, UAE COP28 president-designate Sultan al-Jaber, Demark’s minister of surroundings Dan Jørgensen and Saudi vitality minister Abdulaziz bin Salman. The climate leaders in Berlin for the Petersberg Climate debated the agenda resulting in the UN climate summit, together with dialogue in regards to the continued position of fossil fuels. © AFP by way of Getty Images

During the Berlin convention, ministers and different delegates from greater than 40 nations, held non-public conferences the place discussions included the potential of an settlement to part out fossil fuels at COP28 in December.

Last yr at COP27 in Egypt, efforts to achieve such an settlement failed, regardless of the assist of dozens of nations together with the US and EU.

One particular person concerned within the Berlin discussions this week mentioned there had been a debate in regards to the inclusion of the phrase “unabated” in any settlement, to discuss with the phaseout of oil and gasoline manufacturing with out the seize of emissions.

Delegates mentioned what unabated would imply in follow, what applied sciences is likely to be used and the way to make sure the inclusion of carbon seize and different applied sciences didn’t have an effect on a shift to renewable vitality.

Denmark’s Jørgensen mentioned a fossil gas settlement at COP was “realistic” with “momentum” rising, although he added that “some parties are still arguing against it”.

Some of the resistance was associated to the view that wealthy, industrialised nations needs to be the primary to eradicate fossil fuels from their economies, whereas “there are also producer countries that are not ready yet to make this decision,” he mentioned.

Both Jørgensen and Baerbock additionally mentioned they had been hopeful {that a} new international objective for renewable vitality can be set at COP28. Baerbock known as for a worldwide renewables goal in Berlin, simply weeks after G7 leaders set targets to ramp up renewable vitality capability.

As the UAE readies to host COP28 following on the Egypt gathering that imposed a de facto ban on protests, Jaber mentioned the COP28 crew was practising inclusivity with 60 per cent of his workers being girls, additionally primarily from the worldwide south, at a median age of 34 years.

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