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Al Gore Criticises UAE Hosting COP28 and Calls for Fossil Fuel Phaseout

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Al Gore Criticises UAE Hosting COP28 and Calls for Fossil Fuel Phaseout
04 Dec 2023
4 min read

News Synopsis

At the COP28 climate summit hosted in the UAE, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore raised concerns regarding the suitability of the UAE as the summit's overseer. Gore highlighted the nation's responsibility in global negotiations on climate change as a contentious point, given its oil-centric leadership.

These comments, expressed during an interview at the Dubai conference, underscored doubts among certain delegates about the impartiality of Sultan al-Jaber, COP28 President and head of the UAE's oil company ADNOC, in steering climate discussions.

UAE's Alleged Emissions Surge:

Gore's remarks were supplemented by data he presented at the COP28 plenary session, revealing a substantial 7.5% surge in the UAE's greenhouse gas emissions in 2022, significantly higher than the global increase of 1.5% for the same period.

The data, sourced from Climate TRACE, a coalition employing AI and satellite observations to monitor specific companies' carbon emissions, emphasized a concerning trend in the UAE's emissions trajectory.

Gore's Critique on Fossil Fuel Influence:

Expressing disdain for the presence and influence of oil and gas companies at climate summits, Gore criticized their advocacy for technologies such as carbon capture to mitigate fossil fuel emissions. He specifically addressed the participation of Exxon Mobil's CEO Darren Woods at COP, dismissing the company's engagement as prioritizing profits over climate preservation.

Call for Unambiguous Climate Action:

Al Gore urged summit delegates to embrace unambiguous language in the summit's final text, emphasizing the imperative to phase out fossil fuels without compromising on the use of carbon capture technology.

He emphasized the technology's experimental nature, stressing the absence of significant cost reductions over decades and accused fossil fuel companies of misleading claims about its readiness and economic viability.
here are some relevant and latest facts for the news article "Al Gore Criticises UAE Hosting COP28 and Calls for Fossil Fuel Phaseout":

  • The UAE's emissions are rising rapidly. According to Climate TRACE, the UAE's greenhouse gas emissions increased by 7.5% in 2022, compared to a global average rise of 1.5%. This makes the UAE one of the world's fastest-growing emitters of greenhouse gases.

  • The UAE is a major oil and gas producer. The UAE is the seventh-largest oil producer in the world and the third-largest gas producer. The country's economy is heavily reliant on fossil fuels, which account for over 40% of its GDP.

  • The UAE is facing increasing criticism for its role in the climate crisis. Gore's criticism of the UAE is not the first. In recent months, the country has been criticized by environmental groups, climate activists, and some world leaders for its continued investment in fossil fuels and its failure to take more ambitious action to reduce emissions.

  • The fossil fuel industry is lobbying heavily at COP28. Oil and gas companies have a large presence at COP28, and they are lobbying hard to prevent the adoption of policies that would harm their industry. ExxonMobil, for example, has been advocating for the use of carbon capture technology, which it claims can be used to reduce emissions from fossil fuels.

  • There is growing consensus that fossil fuels must be phased out. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that global emissions must peak by 2025 and be reduced to net zero by 2050 in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. This means that fossil fuels must be phased out rapidly and replaced with renewable energy sources.

In addition to these facts, it is also important to note that the UAE is taking some steps to address climate change. The country has invested in renewable energy, and it has set a target of reducing emissions by 23% by 2030. However, these steps are not enough to offset the country's growing emissions from fossil fuels.

The UAE's hosting of COP28 is a major opportunity for the country to show that it is serious about addressing climate change. However, Gore's criticism and the growing consensus that fossil fuels must be phased out suggest that the UAE will need to take more ambitious action to address the climate crisis.
Note - To explore an article highlighting the significance of COP28, focusing on critical priorities and expected results, kindly follow the link below:
COP28 Climate Summit 2023: Key priorities and expectations of major players

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