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Al Jaber reaffirms COP28’s commitment to a science-centered approach

COP28 President clarifies his stance on climate science following scrutiny of his earlier remarks

Al Jaber reaffirms COP28’s commitment to a science-centered approach
[Source photo: Pankaj Kirdatt/Fast Company Middle East]

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As the world’s attention turns to Dubai for COP28, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber stands at the forefront of crucial conversations on climate action, tasked with guiding nations toward a unified resolve to confront the mounting climate crisis.

Addressing criticisms stemming from his remarks on climate science, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber stood his ground as President of COP28 on Monday.

During an online session hosted by former Irish President Mary Robinson in November, Dr. Al Jaber faced inquiries about the necessity of confronting fossil fuels as a primary contributor to climate change.

Al Jaber had told Robinson, “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 [the target for limiting global warming to 1.5C].”

Nonetheless, he had acknowledged the 1.5-degree Celsius target as his guiding principle, referring to it as his “north star” while characterizing the reduction and elimination of fossil fuels as an “inevitable” progression.

In his recent statement, he clarified that his previous comment, suggesting “no science” supporting the call to phase out fossil fuels, had been taken out of context.

Following an article published by The Guardian on Sunday, which carried the headline “COP28 president says there is ‘no science’ behind demands for phase-out of fossil fuels,” Al Jaber asserted on Monday that his stance had been “misrepresented and misinterpreted.”

“Everything this presidency has been working on and continues to work on is focused and centered around science,” he stressed during a press briefing at the UN summit.

“I am quite surprised with the constant and repeated attempts to undermine the work of the COP28 presidency,” he added.

Al Jaber also emphasized the importance of slashing emissions by 43% before 2030 to ” keep 1.5°C within reach.”

He adds that major agreements during the first five days of the summit show how serious the COP28 presidency is about tackling climate change. “There is a real sense of momentum, traction, positivity and excitement. I can also tell you that there is real hope across the site and everyone I come across.

“This is our opportunity to deliver a real and tangible paradigm shift that will, of course, correct and put us on the right track of keeping 1.5°C within reach.”

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