Fossil fuels would continue to answer the demand for energy for the “foreseeable future”, the president of the upcoming UN climate talks said Wednesday, doubling down on keeping them in the power mix.
“We know that fossil fuels will continue to play a role in the foreseeable future in helping meet global energy requirements,” Sultan Al Jaber said at a press conference during the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, a meeting of climate diplomats in Berlin.
Al Jaber, who runs an oil company and who will lead the COP28 talks in the United Arab Emirates later this year, repeated a call he made Tuesday to focus on removing the emissions from fossil fuels instead of ending their use completely.
“Our aim should be focused on ensuring that we phase out emissions from all sectors whether it’s oil and gas or high-emitting industries,” he said.
The target would be achieved by “building on and capitalising on existing and new and emerging technologies”, he said, in a seeming allusion to costly and emerging technology to capture and store carbon pollution.
Al Jaber on Tuesday urged participants in the climate conference to triple renewable energy production capacity by 2030, echoing a call made by the International Energy Agency.
The choice of Al Jaber, chief executive of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), to head the climate conference in Dubai has angered activists who fear it will hold back progress on reducing emissions.
Al Jaber is also the UAE’s minister for industry and advanced technology and founded the government-owned renewable energy company Masdar.
The UAE, one of the world’s biggest oil producers, argues that crude remains indispensable to the global economy and is needed to finance the energy transition.
The Gulf monarchy is pushing the merits of carbon capture — removing carbon dioxide as fuel is burned, or from the air. — Agence France-Presse