Greenpeace’s accusations were rejected by Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, who accused the campaigning organisation of spreading “lies” and “fabrications” about the Kingdom’s climate change policies.
The row began during the COP26 climate change meeting in Glasgow when bin Salman was questioned about “serious allegations” made by Greenpeace that Saudi Arabia was attempting to stymie climate talks.
Reacting to allegations that the Kingdom was obstructing progress at important meetings during the conference, he said: “These are not serious allegations; these are fabricated allegations.”
During his speech at the summit, bin Salman was quoted saying: “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.” The comment that of the OPEC secretary-general Mohammed Barkindo, who claimed the notion of a fossil-fuel-free future was deceptive.
According to unnamed sources referred to as “climate negotiation veterans,” the Saudi Arabian delegation suggested that negotiations end every day at 6 p.m. rather than continuing into the small hours of the night and that the Kingdom was also engaged 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,” according to the Associated Press.
According to the Associated Press report, Saudi Arabia has been singled out for the world’s failure to make meaningful headway on climate goals this year. One Greenpeace representative reportedly advised that if the other governments want to make any progress, they should segregate Saudi Arabia from the discussions.