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Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, lashed out at Greenpeace for spreading "lies" and "fabrications" about the Kingdom's policy towards climate change.
The spat ignited during the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow, where bin Salman was asked about "serious allegations" made by Greenpeace that Saudi Arabia was trying to block negotiations on the climate.
"These are not serious allegations; these are fabricated allegations," the official said, as quoted by Arab News, referring to allegations made by Greenpeace that the Kingdom was obstructing progress at certain important meetings during the conference.
The Associated Press, meanwhile, reports that the Saudi Arabian delegation suggested that negotiations end every day at 6 pm rather than continue into the small hours of the night and that, according to unnamed sources referred to as "climate negotiation veterans," the Kingdom was also engaging in "complex efforts to play country factions against one another with the aim of blocking agreement on tough steps to wrench the world away from coal, gas and oil."
"It is imperative that we recognize the diversity of climate solutions, and the importance of emissions ... without any bias towards or against any particular source of energy," said bin Salman during his speech at the conference, as quoted by Reuters. The statement was in tune with those made by fellow OPEC officials such as secretary-general Mohammed Barkindo, who said the notion of a transition away from fossil fuels was misleading.
According to the Associated Press report, Saudi Arabia has been singled out this year as a culprit behind the world's failure to make any significant progress on climate commitments. One Greenpeace representative even suggested that the Saudi delegation should be isolated from other governments if they wanted to make any progress.
With Saudi Arabia, participants also bundle Russia and Australia because of their major natural resource industries that make them naturally unwilling to make any major commitments.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.