UAE’s Al-Jaber: ‘we need to attack all emissions, everywhere’

The head of this year’s United Nations climate negotiations has called on governments and businesses to tackle global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in all regions and sectors. if they want to prevent the planet from crossing the critical temperature limit agreed over seven years ago.

Sultan al-Jaber of the United Arab Emirates, who also heads one of the countries state oil companytold senior officials from Europe, Canada and China gathered in Brussels that record heat recently seen around the world shows the need for urgent action to limit emissions.

Laying out his strategy for the upcoming COP28 global climate talks in Dubai this fall, al-Jaber said leaders “must be brutally honest” about what caused it. sharp temperature increases since pre-industrial times and how to prevent them from climbing even higher. .

While many fossil fuel companies have committed to reducing direct and indirect emissions from their operations – known as scopes 1 and 2 – many have disclaims responsibility for so-called 3 range emissions arising from sources they do not own or control, such as consumers using their gas. The latter accounts for the majority of emissions, and cutting them effectively means reducing demand for fossil fuels.

“We need to attack all emissions, everywhere. One, two and three,” al-Jaber said, adding that he plans to bring together governments, major energy producers and heavy-emitting industries to develop a realistic plan. give limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) in line with the 2015 Paris climate accord.

Achieving this goal will require halving global emissions by 2030, scientists say Current efforts are going far. Al-Jaber called on governments to come up with more ambitious national targets to cut emissions over the next few months.

Climate campaigners cautiously welcomed the plan.

“This is a much-needed push from Sultan al-Jaber, for districts to upgrade their climate targets by September,” said Illari Noriega of the anti-poverty group Christian Aid.

“The climate is showing that we need to act much faster than the current slow pace,” she said. People are dying for Terrible drought in East Africamore than 100 million people are currently under one Heat warning in the US and a road worker in Italy became the latest death of a Deadly heatwave across Europe this week.

But some expressed concern at al-Jaber’s call for phasing out “undigested fossil fuels” and promoting “clean energy solutions” – terms they fear are being used. designed to create a loophole for oil and gas companies to resume production.

Al-Jaber said the world must “use all available emission reduction tools, including nuclear, battery storage and carbon capture and removal technologies, especially for the most difficult sectors to mitigate.” “. Experts have expressed skepticism that carbon capture technology is touted by the fossil fuel industry and that some governments could offer the reductions needed to meet that target in the near term.

“What we need to see at COP28 is the commitment of governments to phasing out all fossil fuels, as that is the only way to stay on target 1,” said Petter Lydén of campaign group Germanwatch. ,5 ° C”.

Al-Jaber repeats the call for a Strong increase in renewable energy production and funds to help developing countries make the transition away from polluting fuels and deal with the impacts of climate change.

The European Union’s top climate official, Frans Timmermans, warned that more public and private funds are still spent on fossil fuels than on preventing and adapting to climate change.

“We are subsidizing an attack on all of humanity,” he said. “We are investing in a worse future, not a better future. We are paying to put our children and grandchildren in jeopardy.”

Timmermans warns that with global warming accelerating faster than predicted, disrupting weather patterns across the planet and hitting vulnerable places hardest, governments need to show they have a reliable plan to deal with the crisis.

“The one thing we need to avoid, and we are very close, we are very close, is having our citizens fall into despair over the climate crisis,” he said.

Timmermans says the EU wants to commemorate the victims of the climate crisis every year on July 15, the anniversary a deadly flood claimed the lives of more than 200 people in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands two years ago.

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