ABU DHABI (Reuters) -COP28 president Sultan al-Jaber said on Monday that more than 20 oil and gas companies were rallying around his calls to curb carbon emissions ahead of a United Nations summit on climate change.
Jaber, who is also head of United Arab Emirates oil giant ADNOC, has this year urged the energy industry to join the fight against climate change. He was a controversial pick to lead COP28, which begins next month, because his country is an OPEC member and a major oil exporter.
“We need a system-wide holistic transformation of entire economies – economies that currently run on the equivalent of 250 million barrels of oil, gas, and coal every single day,” Jaber said at an oil and gas conference in Abu Dhabi.
“For too long, this industry has been viewed as part of the problem, that it’s not doing enough and in some cases even blocking progress. This is your opportunity to show the world that, in fact, you are central to the solution,” he said, addressing major energy companies.
Jaber said that more than 20 oil and gas companies had positively answered calls to align around net zero by 2050, and to zero out methane emissions and eliminate routine flaring by 2030. He did not elaborate.
The COP28 summit is scheduled to take place in Dubai between Nov. 30 and Dec. 12.
Ahead of COP28, countries remain divided between those demanding a deal to phase out planet-warming fossil fuels, and nations that insist on preserving a role for coal, oil and natural gas.
The summit is seen as a crucial opportunity for governments to accelerate action to limit global warming with reports so far showing countries are off track to meet promises to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Major oil and gas company chiefs held meetings with heavy industry bosses on Sunday in the UAE to discuss a decarbonization commitment ahead of COP28.
(Reporting by Maha El Dahan, Yousef Saba and Alexander Cornwell in Abu Dhabi; Writing by Nadine Awadalla;Editing by Louise Heavens and Bernadette Baum)