Oil CEO in charge of 2023 climate summit tells fossil fuel industry to decarbonize faster

COP28-President-CERAWeek (AP)
COP28-President-CERAWeek (AP)

Sultan al-Jaber, CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., who will lead international climate talks later this year told energy industry power players on Monday that the world must cut emissions 7 per cent every year and eliminate all emissions of methane, strong comments for an oil executive.

But speaking at Ceraweek in Houston, al-Jaber did not directly address emissions from transportation, the destination of most crude oil. Emissions from transport are the largest contributor to climate change in many countries, including the United States.

Al-Jaber singled out electricity, cement, steel and aluminum as targets for clean up, but not trucks, cars, trains and aircraft. He called for far greater investment to speed the transition to cleaner industries.

“According to the IEA, in 2022, the world invested $1.4 trillion in the energy transition,” he said. “We need over three times that amount.”

Each year, nations gather at COP to discuss how Paris Agreement goals to limit global warming to just 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2050, can be achieved through international collaboration.

The 28th international Conference of the Parties or COP28 will be held in Dubai, Nov 30 to Dec. 12. As president, al-Jaber will have influence over how much pressure is brough to bear on those most reponsible for climate change, coal, oil and gas companies and countries that produce the fuels.

Al-Jaber is the United Arab Emirates minister of industry and advanced technology, also serves as the chairman of Masdar, a renewable energy company.

Ceraweek attracts high level oil and gas officials each year and is hosted by S&P Global.

This year Cop28 will be held in UAE, which has drawn criticism given the nation’s high level of crude production. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. pumps approximately 4 million barrels of crude a day and plans on expanding to 5 million barrels daily. .