Al Gore slams UAE hours after Cop28 president Sultan Al Jaber claims | Tech News

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Climate pioneer Al Gore has slammed the UAE hours after it was revealed the country’s Cop28 president claimed there is ‘no science’ behind phasing out fossil fuels to limit global warming.

Mr Gore said the UAE’s position as overseer of international negotiations on global warming this year was an ‘abuse of public trust’.

Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber made the widely-condemned comments during a livestream on November 21. Speaking at the She Changes Climate event, he said: ‘There is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says that the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve [limiting warming to] 1.5C.’

Challenging the host, former UN special envoy for climate change Mary Robinson, Mr Al Jaber said: ‘Please help me, show me the roadmap for a phase-out of fossil fuel that will allow for sustainable socioeconomic development, unless you want to take the world back into caves.’

Speaking at Cop28 on Friday, UN secretary general Antonio Guterres said: ‘The science is clear – the 1.5C limit is only possible if we ultimately stop burning all fossil fuels. Not reduce, not abate. Phase out, with a clear timeframe.’

The battle to phase out fossil fuels has raged at Cop for many years. Concluding the Cop26 summit held in Glasgow in 2021, then Cop president Alok Sharma fought back tears of frustration after a last minute watering-down of the final agreement left a ‘phase out’ of coal reduced to a ‘phase down’.

Cop28 president Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said there was ‘no science’ behind the need to phase out fossil fuel use (Picture: Getty)

The change was forced through by lobbying from India and China.

Reflecting on the latest controversy, Bill Hare, the chief executive of Climate Analytics, said: ‘This is an extraordinary, revealing, worrying and belligerent exchange. “Sending us back to caves” is the oldest of fossil fuel industry tropes – it is verging on climate denial.’

Speaking to Reuters in Dubai, Mr Gore reflected scepticism among some delegates that the Cop28 president, head of the UAE’s national oil company ADNOC, could be an honest broker of a climate deal.

Former vice president Al Gore said it was an ‘abuse of public trust’ for the UAE to host Cop28

‘They are abusing the public’s trust by naming the CEO of one of the largest and least responsible oil companies in the world as head of the COP,’ he said.

At a presentation earlier in the day, Mr Gore unveiled data showing that the UAE’s greenhouse gas emissions rose by 7.5% in 2022 from the previous year, compared to a 1.5% rise in the entire world. That data came from a coalition he co-founded called Climate TRACE, which uses artificial intelligence and satellite data to track carbon emissions of specific companies, he said.

Mr Al Jaber with India’s prime minister Narendra Modi at Cop28 (Picture: Getty)

The UAE did not immediately provide comment on Gore’s remarks or the TRACE data.

Last week, the BBC revealed the UAE planned to use Cop28 as an opportunity to strike oil and gas deals with at least 15 nations.

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