UAE’s al-Jaber: ‘We must combat emissions comprehensively, globally’

**Head of UN Climate Talks Urges Action to Curb Emissions**

Sultan al-Jaber, head of the United Arab Emirates and one of the country’s state oil companies, has called on governments and businesses to address global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in all regions and sectors. This action is necessary to prevent the planet from surpassing a key temperature limit established over seven years ago. Al-Jaber emphasized the urgency of the situation, pointing to recent record-breaking heatwaves around the world as evidence of the need for immediate action.

**Tackling Emissions from All Sources**

Al-Jaber stressed the importance of addressing emissions from all sources, including direct and indirect emissions from fossil fuel operations (known as scope 1 and 2) as well as emissions resulting from sources not owned or controlled by companies (scope 3). Scope 3 emissions, which are primarily generated by consumers using fossil fuels, make up the majority of emissions. To effectively reduce these emissions, there must be a decrease in demand for fossil fuels. Al-Jaber called for a comprehensive approach to tackle all emissions.

**Developing a Practical Plan for Limiting Global Warming**

Al-Jaber shared his strategy for the upcoming COP28 global climate talks in Dubai. He emphasized the need for leaders to confront the reasons behind the sharp rise in temperatures since pre-industrial times and develop a practical plan to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) in accordance with the 2015 Paris climate accord. Scientists assert that achieving this target requires a halving of global emissions by 2030, but current efforts are falling short. Al-Jaber urged governments to set more ambitious national targets for emissions reduction in the coming months.

**Mixed Reactions to the Plan**

Climate campaigners cautiously welcomed Al-Jaber’s plan, acknowledging the need for countries to enhance their climate targets. They emphasized the urgency of the situation, citing the devastating impacts of climate change, such as droughts in East Africa, heatwaves in the United States, and lethal heatwaves in Europe. However, some expressed concern that Al-Jaber’s call to phase down “unabated fossil fuels” and promote “clean energy solutions” could create loopholes for oil and gas companies to maintain their production levels. Activists argued that phasing out all fossil fuels is the only way to achieve the 1.5-degree target.

**Utilizing a Variety of Emission-Busting Tools**

Al-Jaber highlighted the importance of utilizing a range of emission-reducing technologies, including nuclear power, battery storage, and carbon capture and removal. However, experts have expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of carbon capture technology in the near term. Critics called for a clear commitment by governments to phase out all fossil fuels and increase investment in renewable energy production. They stressed the need for financial support to help developing countries transition away from polluting fuels and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

**The Call for Increased Funding and Action**

Frans Timmermans, the European Union’s top climate official, emphasized that more funds are currently dedicated to fossil fuels than to preventing and adapting to climate change. He warned that by subsidizing fossil fuels, governments are investing in a worse future rather than a better one, jeopardizing the well-being of future generations. Timmermans urged governments to demonstrate a credible plan to tackle the climate crisis, as global warming is progressing at a faster rate than anticipated, resulting in disruptive weather patterns and disproportionately affecting vulnerable communities. He emphasized the importance of preventing despair among citizens by taking decisive action.

**Commemorating the Victims of the Climate Crisis**

Timmermans proposed commemorating the victims of the climate crisis annually on July 15, the anniversary of a deadly flood that claimed over 200 lives in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands two years ago. This initiative aims to raise awareness about the devastating impacts of climate change and reinforce the need for urgent action to address the crisis.

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