Emirati hosts want UN climate talks to deliver ‘game-changing results,’ with big oil at the table.

The United Arab Emirates wants the U.N. climate summit it will host later this year to provide “game-changing results” for international efforts to slow global warming, but doing so would require including the fossil fuel industry at the table, according to a senior United Arab Emirates official.

Environmental activists have criticised the participation of oil and gas lobbyists in earlier rounds of negotiations, stating that their goals conflict with the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, which are largely brought on by the combustion of fossil fuels. Numerous American and European MPs that Sultan al-Jaber, the summit’s scheduled chair, be removed due to his connections to the state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company last month.

The problem hampers already tense negotiations leading up to the COP28 meeting in Dubai, which takes place from November 30 to December 12. The new UAE presidency’s capacity to overcome scepticism among parties and civil society groups about its ability to guide nearly 200 states towards a historic accord will be demonstrated by preliminary negotiations beginning next week in Bonn, Germany.

Majid al-Suwaidi, who serves as the summit’s director-general and is an important player in the diplomatic talks, said that his leadership has made it clear that they do not want just another incremental COP. They recognise, like the rest of us, that we are not on track to achieve the goals of Paris, so they want a COP that will yield significant, significant, game-changing results.

In the French capital, governments decided eight years ago to keep global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), ideally no more than 1.5C (2.7F). According to scientists, the window to fulfil the more ambitious aim is rapidly closing and even the less strict objective would be missed if emissions are not drastically reduced soon because the average global temperature is currently roughly 1.2C (2.2F) over pre-industrial levels.

Al-Suwaidi told The Associated Press in an interview on Friday, “We need to have everyone at the table debating with us how to accomplish that.

He stated that “we need to have oil and gas, industry, aviation, shipping, and all the hard-to-abate sectors,” adding that “we need all those who can to deliver what they can, regardless of who they are.”

Al-Suwaidi disputed the notion that the fossil fuel industry would sabotage effective negotiations on carbon reductions the same way it has in the past by launching disinformation campaigns and keeping silent about its own knowledge of climate change.

Without a shadow of a doubt, he said, “the sector’s position has completely changed, and they are engaging with us in an active conversation.”

Asked whether the talks might consider a phaseout of fossil fuels, proposed last year by nations most vulnerable to climate change, al-Suwaidi said the presidency wouldn’t preclude such conversations.

“We welcome any kind of discussion,” the UAE’s former ambassador to Spain said. “But the parties are the ones who will decide what that discussion is and where we land.”

So far, the summit’s designated chair al-Jaber has emphasized the need to cut emissions, rather than end fossil fuel use itself. It’s prompted fears that he might seek loopholes for untested carbon-capture technologies and so-called offsets — both aimed at reducing current levels of carbon dioxide in the air — that experts say distract from the need to end the release of greenhouse gases.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommended a nearly two-third reduction in carbon emissions by 2035 in a study released earlier this year, citing a significant increase in the danger of droughts, flooding, sea level rise, and other short- and long-term calamities if this goal is not met.

The UAE leadership, according to Al-Suwaidi, who has experience in the oil and gas industry, is acutely aware of the existential threat that climate change poses, including to their own sun-rich but water-poor nation, and is dedicated to switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources like wind and solar.

“We want to be a part of this new economy,” he declared. We are a nation that is charging headlong into the future.

Al-Suwaidi claimed that setting a global objective for increasing renewable energy in Dubai could reassure those concerned about the shift needed to halt climate change.

“Let’s talk about how we’re helping them to take up solutions… that are going to help us to address the emissions problem we have, rather than talking about what we’re stopping people from doing,” he said.

The first “global stocktake” of measures to combat climate change since Paris in 2015 will be conducted as part of the discussions in Dubai. The findings are intended to guide a fresh round of international pledges to reduce emissions and deal with the effects of climate change.

The topic has frequently led to significant conflicts at previous sessions. Poor nations are also asking that affluent countries fulfil their commitments to provide enormous financial help.

Al-Suwaidi stated that in order for the poor world to advance into the new climate system, we must aid in their transition. “At COP28, finance will be really important.”

Rich nations, especially the Group of Seven big economies, which historically account for a significant portion of global emissions, will need to take action in order to achieve this, he said.

“The technology is there. They are knowledgeable. They have the resources to do so. They must assume a leadership position and demonstrate their commitment to overcoming this obstacle.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *