UAE names oil chief to lead COP28 climate change talks

The head of one of the world’s biggest oil companies has been named to lead the COP28 global climate talks in Dubai, later this year.  Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber is currently the chief executive officer of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. He is also the minister for industry and advanced technology for the United Arab Emirates. Samuel Webb writes on The Independent website about the reaction to his appointment.


New Cop28 president is CEO of oil company

The President of Cop28 is the CEO of one of the world’s largest oil companies and has been branded a ‘climate criminal’ by Green MP Caroline Lucas.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber is the group chief executive of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), as well as the United Arab Emirate’s Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology. He has been appointed President of the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference, which will take place in Dubai in November.

ADNOC produces more than four million barrels of oil per day and around 11.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas. As founding CEO of Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy firm Masdar, in which ADNOC has a 24% stake, Jaber has overseen its mandate to adopt renewables in the UAE.

Green MP Caroline Lucas told The Independent: “The climate criminal CEO of a super-wealthy, super-dirty Emirate oil company should be nowhere near the vicinity of any climate conference, let alone presiding over one. Climate-wrecking fossil fuel companies like ADNOC have got away with polluting our planet for far too long, leaving the damage and destruction at our door, escaping with billions of profits, and then greenwashing us into submission.

“The fossil fuel era is over. If COP28 is going to bring us any closer to tackling the climate emergency and securing a liveable future, this conference needs a president free of any dirty fossil fuel ties.”

In September Dr Al Jaber told the National: “Even in a net zero emissions world, energy security requires that oil and gas be part of the mix.

“We have a responsibility to the billions of people of the world to ensure they have access to energy.”

He added: “You need to maintain the current system, while the world still relies on it [and] drive down its emissions, while driving up investment in new energies.

“Innovative climate action, which involves the fast adoption of renewable energy and other low-carbon sources, has the potential to provide long-lasting energy security. But we are not there yet.”

Chiara Liguori, Amnesty International’s Climate Advisor, said Sultan al-Jaber’s appointment sends the “wrong signal” to people most affected by climate change.

“It is also a disappointing selection for all those hoping COP28 will offer swift progress on reducing carbon emissions and delivering climate justice,” she added.

“The fact that the UAE is a major oil producer does not bode well for the outcome of COP28, and the appointment of the head of the national oil company will heighten concerns that the UAE will use its presidency of the climate conference to foster fossil fuel interests.

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2 thoughts on “UAE names oil chief to lead COP28 climate change talks

  1. This appointment reminds me of Al Capone’s offer to take over the running of the police in Chicago.

    1. That is a good comparison. Anders Wijkman tweeted this post this morning and wrote: “This must be a joke. The CEO of one of the world´s largest oil producers appointed Chair of COP 28. All concerned citizens around the world must PROTEST”

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