Unlock the Editor’s Digest totally free
Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favorite tales on this weekly publication.
Saudi Arabia is obstructing the UN’s flagship local weather negotiations and pressuring their presidency, the United Arab Emirates, in a bid to shift the main target away from oil and gasoline producing nations, in line with a number of senior individuals concerned within the talks.
Sultan al-Jaber, COP28 president and head of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, is “under a lot of pressure” from Saudi Arabia, negotiators and European officers mentioned.
A Gulf official mentioned the Saudis weren’t proud of the best way the UAE was dealing with the discussions in Dubai. Saudi Arabia’s minister of power Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman missed his scheduled speech on the UN session on Saturday after being waylaid in negotiations, an individual briefed on the matter mentioned.
The Saudi-dominated Opec oil cartel has additionally complained that the talks are in search of to exert “undue and disproportionate pressure against fossil fuels”, prompting a backlash from European ministers.
In a letter to Opec nations Haitham Al Ghais, the Kuwaiti oil govt serving because the cartel’s secretary-general, requested them to “reject any test or formula that targets energy, ie fossil fuels, rather than emissions”. It was first reported by Reuters.
Teresa Ribera, deputy prime minister of Spain and co-head of the EU’s COP28 negotiating workforce, mentioned it was “disgusting that Opec countries are pushing against getting the bar where it has to be”.
“We are not talking about getting rid of fossil fuels totally but unless we are creating the conditions [for emissions] to go down in a way that ensures the phaseout, it won’t happen,” mentioned Ribera. “We will still be investing trillions of money that harm our climate.”
Jennifer Morgan, Germany’s local weather envoy, mentioned she was involved that not all nations had been “constructively engaging”, and French power minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher mentioned she was “stunned” and “angry” on the Opec push.
“I am counting on the presidency of [COP28] not to be impressed by these declarations and to reach an agreement which affirms a clear objective of phasing out fossil fuels,” Pannier-Runacher mentioned.
EU local weather commissioner Wopke Hoekstra referred to as on COP28 members to not let the talks be derailed. “The name of the game is to go beyond narrowly defined self interest,” he mentioned.
Saudi Arabia is the biggest producer and most influential member of the 13 nations in Opec. Other group members embody Iraq and the UAE, whereas the Opec+ group is made up of one other 10 nations, together with Russia, Mexico and Kazakhstan.
The cartel has grow to be way more aggressive in opposing any risk to grease and gasoline manufacturing prior to now 12 months. It has attacked the International Energy Agency on a number of events for its opposition to new fossil gas initiatives.
Opec has accused the IEA of destabilising power markets and setting the world heading in the right direction for a future power disaster.
The IEA says that oil, gasoline and coal demand are all set to peak earlier than the top of this decade, however extra aggressive authorities motion shall be required to see demand decline considerably sufficient to handle local weather change.
Opec argues oil demand will hold increasing on account of inhabitants and financial development, forecasting it is going to improve to 116mn barrels a day by 2045, about 15 per cent increased than present ranges.
The query of the way forward for fossil fuels has grow to be the defining problem of COP28, fuelling geopolitical tensions because the talks enter their closing 4 days.
Activists staged a sit-down protest on the Opec pavilion on the convention in Dubai on Saturday, and referred to as on the COP28 presidency to distance itself from the Opec assertion.
Tina Stege, local weather envoy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, mentioned the phasing-out of fossil fuels was “not negotiable”.
“Nothing puts the prosperity and future of all people on Earth, including all of the citizens of Opec countries, at greater risk than fossil fuels,” she mentioned.
Additional reporting by Simeon Kerr
Where local weather change meets enterprise, markets and politics. Explore the FT’s protection right here.
Are you interested in the FT’s environmental sustainability commitments? Find out extra about our science-based targets right here