CLIMATE CLASH President of climate summit Cop28 claims fossil fuel ban ‘could take world back to caves’

04 12 2023 | 15:42Thomas Godfrey

THE president of climate summit Cop28 has sparked a row by claiming there is “no science” behind scrapping fossil fuels – saying the move “could take the world back to caves”.

Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said he believed phasing out the use of petrol and gas would not help reduce the global temperature by 1.5 degrees, in footage uncovered by The Guardian.

Speaking to an online event last month, he said: “There is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says that the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5C.

“Show me the roadmap for a phase-out of fossil fuel that will allow for sustainable socioeconomic development, unless you want to take the world back into caves.”

The remarks sent shockwaves through the multi-national climate summit last night, at which King Charles is a guest of honour.

Al Jaber, 50, is chairman of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company – which pumped 2.7m barrels of fossil fuels a day in 2021 and plans to double its output by 2027.


Mr Jaber has repeatedly said he believes oil and gas companies should have a say in climate change talks.

A Cop28 spokesman said: “The Cop president was quoting the science, and leading climate experts.

“Once again, this is clearly part of a continued effort to undermine the Cop presidency’s tangible achievements and a misrepresentation of our position and successes to date.”