UAE Names Oil Chief To Lead COP28 Climate Change Talks
Thursday, UAE names oil chief to lead COP28 talks on climate change. The choice of Sultan al-Jaber as president-designate of the COP28 summit provoked harsh criticism from environmental campaigners. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company is presently headed by Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber.
The United Arab Emirates, who are hosting COP28, have him on staff as their minister of industry and advanced technologies. His opponents argue that he should resign from his position in the oil industry while in office because of the inherent conflict of interest.
Scientists think a quick reduction in fossil fuel production and consumption throughout the world is crucial to averting disastrous climate change, but these critics worry that someone with a background in the oil sector would not advocate for such a reduction.
There is a lot of pressure on the president in charge of the global climate negotiations process, both in the months leading up to the summit and during it itself. Since the United Arab Emirates is a major oil and gas producer, the debate around COP28 has already begun.
[Latest]Climate change: UAE names oil chief to lead COP28 talks
COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/uae-names-oil-chief-to-lead-cop28-talks/ by Tyrese Griffin on 2023-01-13T01:31:56.001Z
Reason Behind Al-Jaber Nomination
The Conference of the Parties (COP) elects a chairperson each year from among the delegates of the nation hosting the discussions for the United Nations. At the outset of the deliberations, the delegates ratify the nominee's status as "COP president," often without raising any concerns.
Minister of Industry of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Gulf State special envoy on climate change Al-Jaber has attended more than ten Conference of the Parties (COP) meetings.
This will be a critical year in a critical decade for climate action.
- Sultan Al Jaber, UAE
He is the chief executive officer of Masdar, the renewable energy firm in the United Arab Emirates, and has "played a vital role in setting the country's sustainable energy path," as the UAE puts it.
Dean of the Fletcher School of International Affairs at Tufts University in the United States, Rachel Kyte, cautioned that he faces a difficult balancing task.
The UAE is competing to be the most efficient and lowest-cost source of fossil fuels as global production must diminish through the energy transition. It will be challenging as COP president to unite countries around more aggressive action while at the same time suggesting that other producers stop producing because UAE has you covered.
- Rachel Kyte, Tufts University in USA
Environmentalists Call It A "Blatant Conflict Of Interest"
Many environmental activists are unhappy with COP28 President-elect Al Jaber's selection. Global Witness's head of the fossil fuel campaign, Alice Harrison, believes this "blatant conflict of interest" threatens to "torpedo" the climate negotiations before they've even started.
You wouldn't put arms merchants in charge of peace negotiations. She questions the legitimacy of having oil CEOs oversee climate discussions.
Harrison thinks it's evidence of how much fossil fuel businesses are fighting to maintain a stake in the energy market despite the low cost and abundance of renewable alternatives.
As one of the world's largest oil and gas producers, the United Arab Emirates' selection as host for the upcoming United Nations climate change conference has already aroused criticism.
Hosting crucial climate talks in a repressive petrostate is one thing, having a fossil fuel CEO as its President is just mad.
- Alice Harrison, Global Witness
According to reports from watchdog groups Global Witness, Corporate Accountability, and Corporate Europe Observatory, fossil fuel lobbyists at COP27 in Egypt in November greatly outnumbered state delegations.
In a "twisted joke," as one representative put it, 636 oil and gas lobbyists have registered to attend the meeting, up 25% from COP26. With 22 people registered to attend, ADNOC seemed to be the second biggest fossil fuel organization. According to Harrison, "major polluters ought to be kicked out of climate discussions" and the UNFCCC "urgently needs to act."
The First Carbon Cutting "Global Stocktake"
Additionally, the UAE has indicated that the first official evaluation of nations' progress on decreasing emissions since the Paris Agreement would be held during COP28. It's being referred to as a "Worldwide Inventory" (GST).
The GST will provide the foundation to build momentum for this and future COPs and the UAE will look for an ambitious outcome in response to the GST from the negotiation process.
- Sultan Al Jaber, UAE
This will be a critical moment to mobilise political will to respond to what the science tells us will need to be achieved to remain on target and limit global warming to 1.5C by 2050.
- Sultan Al Jaber, UAE
One of the world's largest producers of crude oil, the United Arab Emirates, will hold COP28 in Dubai in November and December.
The 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27), held in Egypt in November, resulted in the acceptance of a contentious resolution on assistance to poor nations impacted by climate change but failed to establish new targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
As part of his "inclusive strategy," Al-Jaber pledged to increase efforts on reducing emissions, promote an equitable transition to clean energy, and provide "significant, cheap climate funding" for the world's poorest nations.
Support for the UAE and al-Jaber came from Yvo de Boer, the former head of the UN's climate change office, who said al-Jaber had the "knowledge, expertise, and responsibility" to lead COP28 to success thanks to his work in "green growth strategy" and renewable energy.