The leader of the COP28 meeting, Sultan Al Jaber, said during a recent live event seen by The Guardian that there is "no scientific evidence to indicate that phasing out fossil fuels is necessary to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees".
"He's not right about that. Phasing out fossil fuels is the most important thing we can do to stop global warming, says Climate and Environment Minister Romina Pourmokhtari (L) to SVT.
According to Romina Pourmokhtari, Sultan Al Jaber's statement is problematic, but she also believes that it could lead to increased pressure on the United Arab Emirates.
"It is important that we get the largest emitters and fossil fuel countries on board with us in the climate transition. So, not least, it is good that we are having a discussion about this now.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday that "the science is clear. The 1.5-degree limit is only possible if we stop burning all fossil fuels."
The fact that Sultan Al Jaber has been chosen as the leader of the climate summit has been strongly criticized because of his role as CEO of the state-owned oil and gas company ADNOC. Among other things, more than 100 members of the US Congress and members of the European Parliament have called for his resignation.
Some say it is a sign that the oil lobby has taken control of the climate summit, while others believe that he may be the right person to put pressure on other oil sheikhs.
"He's the chairman, so it's clear that it affects the outcome. But precisely because the UAE is a fossil fuel country, they get a lot of pressure and a lot of scrutiny on what they write about these issues," says Romina Pourmokhtari.
In the clip, you can hear Climate and Environment Minister Romina Pourmokhtari's comment on the COP28 leader's statement.