Mary Robinson has restated her demand for a quick elimination of the use of fossil fuels.
Mary Robinson, the ex-Irish president, has urged for a swift elimination of fossil fuels, in a tactful but resolute reaction to the recent controversy caused by the comments made by the Cop28 leader, which were disclosed by the Guardian this week.
During a virtual event, Sultan Al Jaber informed Robinson that there is no scientific evidence or scenario that supports the idea that phasing out fossil fuels will lead to a 1.5 degree Celsius target. This viewpoint has been heavily disputed by numerous scientists. In addition to being in charge of organizing the Cop28 UN climate summit in Dubai, Al Jaber holds the position of chief executive at Adnoc, the state oil company of the United Arab Emirates.
Robinson posted on X: “A successful Cop28 is not about a single individual or nation but the collective will and concerted efforts of all countries in these negotiations. The science compels: phase out fossil fuels rapidly, accelerate renewable energy adoption, and radically scaled up finance.”
The individual referred to as Al Jaber was not specifically mentioned. Robinson, who chairs the Elders, a collective of previous global leaders established by Nelson Mandela.
On Monday, Al Jaber emphasized his support for climate science. He stated, “I hold the utmost respect for science in all my actions. As the president of Cop28, I have consistently followed the guidance and principles set forth by science.”
Some people were not afraid to express their disapproval. Al Gore, the previous vice-president of the United States, stated to the New York Times that it was only a matter of time before the truth behind Al Jaber’s disguise, which was used to conceal a major conflict of interest in climate negotiations, would be revealed. He also emphasized the urgency of transitioning away from fossil fuels.
Simon Evans, a senior editor for Carbon Brief, mentioned on X that Al Jaber may take over next year due to Russia’s involvement in the war in Ukraine.
It is the turn of eastern Europe to host the next Cop but Russia is vetoing the 27 EU countries, and Armenia and Azerbaijan are vetoing each other. That leaves only seven, mostly small states, and organising a Cop is very expensive.
Evans stated that according to the UN rules of procedure, the default location for the UN climate secretariat is in Bonn, Germany. If a new president is not elected, Al Jaber will preside over Cop29 at this location.
According to negotiators, the most recent version of the negotiating document for the global stocktake was released on Tuesday after 24 hours of discussions. It showed some advancements, but significant decisions still needed to be made.
The text still includes language about transitioning away from fossil fuels, but the possibility of removing that language has not been dismissed.
According to reports, attitudes are positive, but some observers have noticed that Saudi Arabia is consistently mentioning carbon capture and storage, even in situations where it may not be relevant. The kingdom is also attempting to include the term “emissions” after fossil fuels whenever discussing their reduction or elimination.
The stance of China was confusing to observers of law enforcement in certain ways. Even though China has a highly developed renewable energy sector and is a major provider of renewable energy materials and technology, the country has not agreed to the promise to triple renewable energy production. This decision could greatly benefit their industry.
According to certain specialists, this could be tied to China’s ongoing hesitancy to agree to anything that it did not propose, or influenced by internal disputes concerning the fate of coal.
According to multiple countries, China’s negotiators, who are part of the China and G77 negotiating group, have been speaking for an unusually long time during their designated slots, preventing other developing countries from participating.
It is reported that there may be disagreements among the G77 group, as smaller developing nations are more worried about limiting temperature rise to 1.5C. Meanwhile, China has a history of focusing on “the Paris goals” during these discussions, with the plural form being a direct mention of the 2C temperature goal outlined in the treaty.
According to Al Jaber, he is looking forward to a highly ambitious global assessment.