In the next UN Climate Summit OPEC+ delegates must not back down
By Tom Harris
In last month's United Nations Climate Change Conference, it appeared at first that OPEC+ nations had injected a note of much-needed realism into the event (OPEC+ is a group of 13 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and 11 other non-OPEC members (the top five producers of which are Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mexico and Oman)). But in the final analysis, they all bowed to political correctness and, while avoiding direct language about phasing out fossil fuels, still ended up supporting "transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly and equitable manner, accelerating action in this critical decade, so as to achieve net zero by 2050 in keeping with the science."
Of course, if they were really paying attention to "the science," they wouldn't be transitioning away from fossil fuels at all. Delegates would be boosting exploration and development of fossil fuels so as to ensure our energy security in an increasingly unstable and unpredictable world. After all, if problematic climate change did happen, in contrast to the "renewable energy" they committed to triple, delegates would want us to have the most solid and dependable energy sources possible, and fossil fuels certainly fit the bill.
As ICSC-Canada concluded in last month's report, "A CAUTIONARY TALE FOR GOVERNMENTS AROUND THE WORLD Part 2":
Just before COP28 started, it seemed that the conference leader would approach this issue sensibly. At the online She Changes Climate event on November 21, former UN special envoy for climate change Mary Robinson challenged Cop 28 president Sultan Al Jaber to lead in phasing out fossil fuels. Al Jaber was having none of it and answered:
Al Jaber was right. Phasing out fossil fuels would have little impact on climate.
In response to further pressure from Robinson, Al Jaber final challenged her back:
He was right there too. As ICSC-Canada explained in Part 1 of the report released in 2022:
This was not the only time recently that OPEC+ leaders have spoken sensibly about the issue.
In his December 6th letter, OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais urged OPEC+ members to reject proposals at COP28 that targeted fossil fuels. Al Ghais wrote:
He asked OPEC+ delegations at COP28 to "proactively reject any text or formula that targets energy i.e. fossil fuels rather than emissions."
Good. That is exactly what they should do.
There was another time during the conference when an OPEC representative spoke with courage and common sense about the issue. Hasan Alhamadi, the OPEC Secretariat's head of public relations, also a support services manager with Kuwait Petroleum International, replied to an activist concerned about wildfires, "This has nothing to do with oil. How does it have to do with oil?"
Alhamadi was also right when he told another youth delegate who asked whether oil is the only energy solution, "Right now, yes…Give me an alternative…[solar] is too expensive for people, and no one would like to invest there."
Without huge government subsidies, solar is far too expensive, not to mention unreliable and environmentally damaging.
Predictably, climate hawks went ballistic over the statements from Al Jaber, Al Ghais and Alhamadi. However, rather than scare them away from their responsible positions, it should have told these OPEC leaders they should double down on their pro-fossil fuel statements.
World War II Lancaster bomber pilot Sandy Mutch, who passed away at the age of 98 on April 15, 2018, said in 2013, "On bombing raids over Europe, we could tell we were closing in on the target when we started to get the most flak."
That was because important German assets were often surrounded by anti-aircraft guns that filled the sky with AAA fire. Rather than being deterred by the resistance, it told Bomber Command exactly where the next wave of aircraft should concentrate their attack.
Mutch, who held a Master of Science degree from the University of Toronto (1951), concluded, "Anyone who wants to kill the dangerous and unfounded climate scare … should focus on exposing the shaky science behind climate alarm. That is the Achilles heel of the whole movement. Shoot it down and you win the war!"
But apparently even OPEC are not yet that serious about actually winning the climate war. Or perhaps they are hoping the whole mess collapses of its own weight as the public begins to rebel when the costs of draconian climate and energy policies finally hit home. Or maybe they plan to try to take advantage of the rather large loopholes in the UN statement. But they are taking a dangerous gamble as much damage can be done in the meantime to the world's most important energy sources.
Readers will be glad to hear that COP29 will be held next year in oil-rich Azerbaijan, an OPEC+ member, and COP30 in 2025 will be held in Brazil, also an OPEC+ member and one of the largest oil producers in the world. Let's hope OPEC+ countries up their game and fight to win next time!
Tom Harris is Executive Director of the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) at www.icsc-climate.com. If you liked this article, please share it and support ICSC through its GiveSendGo crowdfunding webpage at GiveSendGo - THERE IS NO CLIMATE EMERGENCY!: The Leader in Freedom Fundraising.