Qatar, the host of the 18th United Nations climate change conference, known as COP18, has defended its right to host the talks saying that other host countries produce coal. “Our CO2 comes mainly from the energy sector,” Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiya, former Qatari energy minister and president of the Conference of Parties told a new agency on Monday. The climate talks have placed a spotlight on Qatar, which produces nearly 50 tonnes a year of carbon dioxide for each of its 1.6 million residents. “I believe Qatar is a good place [for the conference]. Other host countries produce coal,” Attiyah said. “I never believe in per-capita as a measure for distribution. I think it’s calculated to show the small countries as the bad boys,” he said earlier. The Gulf state, the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas with one of the highest per capital incomes, has yet to indicate it will set specific targets for emissions cuts. “The problem with Qatar is that they have not proven they are taking climate change seriously,” Wael Hmaidan, Climate Action Network Director, a non-government organisation, told Reuters news agency. However, Attiyah said that Qatars’s environmental sustainability is a key pillar of our national vision. It is also one of the 10 developing countries predicted to be most affected by rising sea levels, he said.