UN Climate Change Conference Head Refutes California Climate Policy

UN Climate Change Conference Head Refutes California Climate Policy

COP28 president Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber speaks during a press conference at the U.N. climate summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Dec. 4, 2023. (Karim Sahib/AFP via Getty Images)

John Seiler

John Seiler


Updated: 1/26/2024


Eventually, reality intrudes on even the deepest delusion.
Sultan Al Jaber, president of the COP28 climate change conference, recently admitted that there’s “no science” for phasing out fossil fuels, which supposedly is needed so that the global temperature doesn’t rise by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The nomenclature commonly is 1.5C, which in Fahrenheit is 2.7 degrees.
COP28 stands for the elaborate title of the 28th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, held from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12. Its major task is reviewing the Paris Agreement from COP21 in Paris in 2015.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has played a major role at COP28.
According to a Dec. 3 statement by CARB, “California officially kicked off a new international climate initiative that creates a partnership of subnational governments that are committed to reducing methane today at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) hosted in Dubai.
“The effort, which was initially announced in September during Climate Week, has expanded to 15 signatories, which include additions from Brazil, Canada, South Korea, Bolivia, Germany, Spain, and the United States. ... Research shows that lowering methane emissions can prevent up to 0.3°C of warming by 2050.”
CARB Chair Liane Randolph said: “The science is clear that tackling methane emissions is one of the best investments we can make to fight climate change now and produce benefits in the near future to leave a better planet for generations to come. California is ready to partner with governments across the world to implement actionable and effective solutions.”
But back to Mr. Al Jaber.
Here’s his statement made on Nov. 21 during a live online She Changes Climate event: “I accepted to come to this meeting to have a sober and mature conversation. I’m not in any way signing up to any discussion that is alarmist. There is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says that the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5C.”
After massive attacks, he since has tried to walk back the statement. He’s the head of the United Arab Emirates’ state-owned oil company, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., which obviously profits from oil and gas production.
But he also said on Nov. 21, “I don’t think [you] will be able to help solve the climate problem by pointing fingers or contributing to the polarization and the divide that is already happening in the world. Show me the solutions. Stop the pointing of fingers. Stop it.”
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres retorted: “The science is clear: The 1.5C limit is only possible if we ultimately stop burning all fossil fuels. Not reduce, not abate. Phase out, with a clear timeframe.”
Notice how all those with a vested interest in the “climate change” narrative always say, “The science is clear”? Which shuts off all debate of the sort democratic societies are supposed to have.
Mr. Al Jaber contended that limiting the temperature increase to 1.5C is impossible “unless you want to take the world back into caves.”

Planes on the Ground

Humorously, as the billionaires and bureaucrats from Europe were about to fly their private jets to balmy, globally warmed Dubai, United Arab Emirates, this happened, as reported by ABC News on Dec. 4:
“Freezing rain and cold weather buffeting Germany have been blamed for traffic accidents that left three dead while Munich Airport temporarily suspended flights. ... Flights were also grounded at Munich Airport on Saturday following heavy snowfall in the city and in Germany’s southern state of Bavaria.”
Of course, one snowstorm doesn’t mean much for long-term temperatures. But the global-warming/climate change alarmists are quick to tout every hot summer as evidence that the oceans soon will be boiling over.
For example, The New York Times headlined on Nov. 1, “A Tense Climate Summit Begins Against a Backdrop of War and Record Heat.”
The story was this:
“The annual meeting, known as COP28, comes near the end of what scientists forecast will be the hottest year in recorded history. Greenhouse gas emissions, mainly driven by the burning of fossil fuels, have now warmed the planet by about 1.2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. Floods, fires, droughts and storms made worse by climate change are unleashing destruction around the world.”
Note the “recorded history,” assuming the “records” are even true.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has stated the following:
“One of the warmest times was during the geologic period known as the Neoproterozoic, between 600 and 800 million years ago. Conditions were also frequently sweltering between 500 million and 250 million years ago. And within the last 100 million years, two major heat spikes occurred: the Cretaceous Hot Greenhouse (about 92 million years ago), and the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (about 56 million years ago).”
It’s clear that the earth’s temperature oscillates on its own, independent of whatever effect human industry has on it. The Last Glacial Period, or Last Ice Age, occurred 115,000 to 11,700 years ago. The subsequent warming obviously started long before modern industry.
Then there was the Roman Warm Period, 300 B.C. to 300 A.D. And the Medieval Warm Period, which was from 900 A.D. to 1,300. Both coincided with times of flourishing civilization and industry and were followed by cold, starvation, and decreasing populations.
Migrant workers ride their tricycles past water-cooling towers at a coal-fired power plant on the outskirts of Beijing on May 4, 2007. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

Migrant workers ride their tricycles past water-cooling towers at a coal-fired power plant on the outskirts of Beijing on May 4, 2007. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

China, India Not Going Along

The South China Morning Post reported on Dec. 3:
“COP28: China firm on new carbon targets for 2030 and 2035, calls for global effort to cut methane emissions. Beijing ‘attaches great importance’ to Cop28 decision to have 2035 carbon goals laid out within two years, climate envoy Xie Zhenhua says in Dubai. On methane emissions, Xie says China is ‘willing to act’ but still lacks the capabilities, as he calls for global joint efforts.”
You’ll notice that Mr. Xie basically didn’t say anything.
And the Morning Post reported on Dec. 5 from COP28:
“Global fossil fuel emissions are on track to grow by 1.1 per cent in 2023 compared to last year, hitting a record high mainly driven by China and India, according to projections from the annual Global Carbon Budget.
“Fossil fuel emissions in 2023 are expected to increase by 4 per cent in China, 8.7 per cent in India and 0.5 per cent for the rest of the world, while dropping by 7.4 per cent in the European Union and 3 per cent in the United States, a team of more than 120 researchers from nearly 20 countries estimated in a project steered by the Norway-based Centre for International Climate Research.
“In China, which contributes to almost one-third of global emissions, a strong rise is projected for the volume of emissions from coal at 3.3 per cent, oil at 9.9 per cent and natural gas at 6.5 per cent. The growth this year is partly because of a delayed rebound from 2022 Covid-19 lockdowns, according to the report.”
It’s a smart move by the Chinese Communist Party. It develops renewables, tests them at home, and then sells them on the global market for a neat profit. Meanwhile, it keeps building coal plants at high rates to continue industrial growth, even as the United States and Europe add costs to their industrial production to meet “green” mandates and buy renewable machines from communist China, increasing Beijing’s profits.

Conclusion: Deluded California

Despite California always boasting that it’s the “fourth-largest economy” in the world, its 39 million residents make up just 0.5 percent of the world population—and its $3.8 trillion economy is just 4.3 percent of the $88 trillion global economy. Thinking that the rest of the world cares about the Golden State is just a self-delusion.
Yet the state keeps pushing such follies as Senate Bill 252, by state Sen. Lena Gonzalez, a Democrat. It would force the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) to divest from all fossil-fuel investments. This year, it passed the Senate, 23–10 and likely will come back next year.
What if those are the best investments and divestment means that the funds decline in value? Well, that’s what increasing taxes is for.
Currently, CalPERS’s “funded status” is only 72 percent, which is really low. CalSTRS is just a bit better, at 74.4 percent. These funds are in no condition to be manipulated by the Legislature. Yet on Dec. 3, coinciding with COP28, the Los Angeles Times published an editorial stating: “CalPERS must ditch fossil fuel investments. Its new ‘sustainable’ plan doesn’t do that.”
Despite California’s goal of selling no fossil-fuel vehicles by 2035 and “carbon neutrality” by 2045, the rest of the world is going its own way; especially communist China and India. They’re ignoring California’s obsession with shoving its long-suffering citizens “back into caves.”
John Seiler

John Seiler


John Seiler is a veteran California opinion writer. Mr. Seiler has written editorials for The Orange County Register for almost 30 years. He is a U.S. Army veteran and former press secretary for California state Sen. John Moorlach. He blogs at and his email is

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