If you can’t join beat them, join them. Opec is seeking to “reposition itself at the centre of the climate change debate” by pushing for a fund to finance research and development on emissions capture and sequestration technology as a means to clean up fossil fuels.

Ahead of a key United Nations climate conference next month, Ali Naimi, the Saudi oil minister, said yesterday that technology was the response to reduce emissions, as fossil fuels will continue to play a big role in the world’s energy mix.

“Saudi Arabia and Opec [the oil producers’ cartel] are concerned about the environment,” Mr Naimi said. “We need to work on emissions. Technology is available to reduce emission and Saudi Arabia is willing to participate.”

Opec’s approach is a significant departure from its previously highly sceptical attitude to the climate change…

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