The Cop28 President Told a Shocking Lie About Fossil Fuels – and He’s Wrong About Climate Economics Too

For months Sultan Al Jaber, the president of the Cop28 climate negotiations in Dubai, has been insisting that there is no conflict with his day job, chief executive of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) state oil company.

Instead, he argued, the dual role enabled him to persuade fossil fuel companies to change. And some early successes in the talks provided some credibility to that claim.

Now it lies in ruins, following Sunday’s exclusive Guardian report of rejoinders he made to Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland and UN special climate envoy, during a live event on 21 November.

He claimed there was “no science” showing that phasing out fossil fuels would keep the world beneath the internationally agreed guardrail of a rise of 1.5C above preindustrial levels – beyond which lurk 11 irreversible tipping points that threaten to plunge the world into a much more hostile climate. Indeed, he implied, such a phase-out could “take the world back into caves”.