UAE Names Oil Chief to Lead COP28 Talks

The United Arab Emirates has named Sultan al-Jaber, who both leads Abu Dhabi’s state-run oil company and oversees its renewable energy efforts, to preside over the upcoming United Nations "COP28" climate negotiations in Dubai.

UAE Names Oil Chief to Lead COP28 Talks
Image credit: AP [via Aljazeera]

Facts

  • The United Arab Emirates has named Sultan al-Jaber, who both leads Abu Dhabi’s state-run oil company and oversees its renewable energy efforts, to preside over the upcoming United Nations "COP28" climate negotiations in Dubai.
  • Al-Jaber, who serves as CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co — a firm that produces 4M barrels of crude a day and plans to expand to 5M daily — is known to be a trusted advisor to UAE leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
  • An analysis of those who registered for the previous COP27 showed significant connections to the oil and gas industry compared to previous meetings. This includes 70 people closely connected to fossil fuels within the UAE delegation.
  • Each year, the country hosting the UN negotiations for the so-called Conference of the Parties (COP) nominates an individual to chair the talks. As the hosts of the upcoming climate negotiations, the UAE was tasked with choosing this year's chairperson.
  • The UAE, a major OPEC oil exporter, will be the second Arab state to host the climate conference after Egypt convened the event in 2022.

Sources: Al Jazeera, NPR Online News, BBC News, Associated Press, and Reuters.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Al Jazeera. Sultan al-Jaber has the credentials and background to be attuned to trends that are already ongoing and understand climate negotiations from a well-informed standpoint. The UAE is committed to energy reform and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 — Sultan al-Jaber will play an integral role in these goals.
  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Reuters. Putting an oil CEO in charge of the negotiations for COP28 is clearly a conflict of interest. This is proof of the fossil fuel interests taking control of the process and shaping it to meet their own needs. There is no place for pollution enablers like al-Jaber in climate negotiations.