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COP28 host UAE says fossil fuels needed in energy transition: envoy

Petrostate's preparations alarm observers seeking shift from oil, coal and gas

Shihab Alfaheem, the United Arab Emirates' ambassador to Japan, speaks to Nikkei Asia in Tokyo on Aug. 28. His country is gearing up to hold the COP28 summit. (Nikkei montage/Source photo by Sayumi Take and Reuters) 

TOKYO -- Fossil fuels will remain a necessary resource as the world accelerates its transition to cleaner energy, the United Arab Emirates' ambassador to Japan said three months before his country hosts the COP28 climate summit.

"We cannot just remove [fossil fuels] because the demand will not just vanish," Shihab Alfaheem told Nikkei Asia in a recent interview. "At the end of the day, you need to keep the air conditioning working, the lights working. We have to be realistic."

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