Controversy surrounding COP28 President Al Jaber
The Guardian reported on Sunday about an appearance by COP28 President Al Jaber at an event organised by the “SHE changes climate” campaign. There, Al Jaber stated that there is “no scientific evidence” to suggest that phasing out fossil fuels is necessary to limit global warming to 1.5°C. This is in stark contrast to climate change campaigners.
This is in stark contrast to climate projections by the International Energy Agency and the opening speech by UN Secretary-General Guterres: ” The 1.5-degree limit is only possible if we ultimately stop burning all fossil fuels. Not reduce. Not abate. “
Al Jaber has been heavily criticised since announcing his presidency because he is both Minister of Industry of the United Arab Emirates and CEO of the state oil company ADNOC. Critics accuse Al Jaber of conflicts of interest.
However, the President of the COP received support from Jim Skea, the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He confirmed that Al Jaber had studied the scientific findings in advance and had “fully understood” them. Al Jaber himself feels misinterpreted and affirmed his trust in science: “The phase-out and reduction of fossil fuels is unavoidable”. Climate neutrality must be achieved by 2050.
Gender Equality Day
A new partnership for gender-equitable transitions and climate action was launched on Gender Equality Day. This is supported by over 60 parties, nations and banks. A three-year package of measures aims to address the disproportionate impact of climate-related job losses on women.
The partnership comprises a package of commitments, including measures in the areas of data, finance and equal opportunities. Implementation will be reviewed at a second meeting during COP31.
Religious leaders speak out against fossil fuels
The Faith Pavilion at COP28 has published an interfaith statement calling on negotiators to adopt the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, among other things. The declaration included Pope Francis, Ahmed El-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, and around 30 other religious leaders.
The treaty is gaining traction at the COP after Colombia became the tenth country to join the call for a new international mechanism to tackle the energy transition.