In response to COP28 President Al Jaber’s science-denying comments at the She Changes Climate Event, as reported by The Guardian, Romain Ioualalen, Oil Change International’s Global Policy lead, said:
“COP28 President Al Jaber’s science-denying statements are alarming and raise deep concerns about the Presidency’s capacity to lead the UN climate talks, at a time when leadership and a clear vision are most needed. Of course, denying science has been part of the fossil fuel industry’s playbook for decades. But science is not up for debate: we must phase out fossil fuels to have a livable planet.
“The science is clear. Not only do fossil fuels need to be phased out, but the phaseout needs to start now. The latest reports from the IEA and the IPCC show that maintaining a 50% chance of limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires an immediate end to investments in new oil, gas, and coal production and hazardous liquid fossil gas infrastructure.
“Instead of casting doubt on climate science, we expect the COP28 president to facilitate an outcome on a full, fast, fair, and funded phaseout of fossil fuels at COP28. Over 100 countries have now called for a phase out of fossil fuels and science is clear that limiting warming to 1.5°C without relying massively on dangerous technological distractions such as CCS requires eliminating fossil fuels from the global economy.”
Thuli Makama, Africa Senior Advisor, Oil Change International, said:
“Fossil fuels do not equal development. Fossil fuels do not equal energy access. They do not equal jobs or profit to support our economy. Fossil fuels threaten our livelihoods, health, and biodiversity. An equitable, managed phaseout of fossil fuel production provides a much brighter pathway for Africa’s development.
“Despite decades of drilling and extraction of fossil fuels in the continent, many communities continue to experience energy poverty. Evidently fossil fuels are not the future for Africa. Why would President Al Jaber think that more fossil fuel extraction would change that? We want a just transition that delivers clean energy to people in Africa. Leaders at COP28 must act with integrity and leadership to ensure a sustainable future that delivers energy to communities. We reject more fossil fuel extraction. We reject dangerous distractions like carbon markets and CCS. We reject predatory loans instead of reparations for loss and damage. Climate justice requires a full, fast, fair, and funded phaseout of fossil fuels.”