Wael Mahdi, Foreign Correspondent
Environmental activists dressed as stopwatches stand outside the venue of the Copenhagen summit on Monday. Pawel Kopczynski / Reuters
Arabia, the world’s largest exporter of oil, has renewed its hardline
stance that it will oppose any action taken at the Copenhagen summit to
combat global warming that might hurt the kingdom’s economy.
Saudia Arabia said at the opening day of the summit yesterday that its trust in climate science had been “shaken” by recently leaked e-mails in Britain between top scientists tied to the government. Some of the e-mails allegedly indicate that data had been manipulated to support the argument that the Earth’s climate is warming. Riyadh called for an investigation into the matter.
Speaking after the United Nation’s panel of climate scientists
strongly defended the findings that humans are warming the planet,
Mohammad al Sabban, the lead Saudi Arabian climate negotiator, said:
“The level of confidence is certainly shaken. We believe this scandal
is definitely going to affect the nature of what can be fostered [in
“The size of [economic] sacrifices must be built on a secure foundation of information, which we found now is not true,” Mr al Sabban said, according to Agence France-Presse.
Mr al Sabban called for an “independent” international
investigation, but said that the UN climate science body was
unqualified to carry it out.
“The IPCC, which is the authority accused, is not going to be able to conduct the investigation,” he said, referring to the Nobel Prize winning UN Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change.
The Saudi negotiator rejected the IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri’s defence of the integrity of the panel’s findings – delivered earlier in the plenary session – as “general statements”.
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