This year’s COP28 president Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber has called on global oil and gas companies to do more to achieve climate goals.
During the opening of the UN climate summit, Al-Jaber, who is also the CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), urged nations to find common ground in their climate policy.
The goal of COP28, which is taking place from 30 November 2023 to 12 December 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is to reach a consensus on the phase-out of fossil fuels.
However, participants are split between those urging a deal to gradually phase out the use of fossil fuels and those that insist on fossil fuels continuing to play a part in the economy.
In a text version of his opening remark, Al-Jaber acknowledged the differences and said: “I know there are strong views about the idea of including language on fossil fuels and renewables in the negotiated text.
“I ask you to work together. Be flexible, find common ground, come forward with solutions and achieve consensus.”
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Al-Jaber continued, saying that several oil and gas companies have committed to eliminating methane emissions by 2030 as a result of their negotiations with them, and many national oil companies have set net-zero 2050 targets for the first time.
“But, I must say, it is not enough, and I know that they can do more. They can lead the way, and others must catch up,” he added.
Separately, in an interview, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told AFP that the COP28 summit should aim for a complete “phaseout” of fossil fuels, reported the Economic Times.
“Obviously I am strongly in favor of language that includes (a) phaseout, even with a reasonable time framework,” Guterres added.
Some countries have advocated for the COP28 final declaration, which requires unanimous agreement, to clearly call for a reduction in fossil fuel usage. Considering that the Glasgow 2021 climate conference could only agree to include coal, it would be a historic first for a COP28 declaration.
Meanwhile, the EU is lobbying for a global tax on aviation fuel at COP28, reported the Financial Times.
Kerosene, in contrast to other fuels, is tax-exempt everywhere in the world.
According to EU Climate Commissioner Wopke Hoekstra, China, Zambia, Brazil and the Gulf states are among the countries interested in such a tax.