UN declares ‘climate emergency’ as Middle East ramps up fossil fuel production

During the virtual “Climate Ambition Summit,” co-hosted by the UN and UK, Secretary-General António Guterres issued the warning that the world is facing a catastrophe ahead as it is on track to warm by more than 3C by the end of the century “unless all countries declare climate emergency.”

Guterres was disappointed that the G-20 countries are “spending 50% more in their stimulus and rescue packages on sectors linked to fossil fuel production and consumption than on low carbon energy…This is unacceptable.”

“Five years after the Paris [accord] we are still not going in the right direction,” he said.

“There is a promise to limit temperature rises to as close [to] 1.5 degrees [as] possible but the commitments made in Paris were far from enough to get there and even those commitments are not being met.

“If we don’t change course, we may be heading for a catastrophic temperature rise of more than 3 degrees by the end of the century. Can anybody still deny we are facing a dramatic emergency?”

Meanwhile, two weeks later, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister announced on December 27th  the discovery of four new oil and gas fields, including unconventional resources.

The discoveries will boost the country’s plans to increase its maximum sustained crude production capacity from the current 12 million b/d to 13 million b/d as well as developing its gas resources to free up more oil for export instead of burning it for power generation.

Prince Abdulaziz said that unconventional oil had been discovered in the Al-Reesh field northwest of Dhahran and the Al-Ajramiah field northwest of Rafhaa city in the Northern Borders province.

CEO Sultan Al Jaber of the ADNOC, one of the leading national oil companies in the Gulf region, said that the Abu Dhabi company is “leaving no stone unturned in unblocking value from our abundant hydrocarbon resources.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson again linked emissions reduction to job creation and warned against climate ideology.

“We’re doing this not because we are hair shirt-wearing, tree-hugging, mung bean-munching eco-freaks – though I’ve got nothing against any of those categories. We’re doing it because we know that scientific advances will allow us collectively as humanity to save our planet and create millions of high skilled jobs as we recover from COVID.”

photo/ Pete Linforth


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