NEW DELHI: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Thursday named the CEO of a major fossil fuel company as the designated president of the annual United Nations climate change conference (COP28) to be held in Dubai in November- December. The move where an oil company chief in office – Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber Abu Dhabi National Oil Corporation (ADNOC) – will chair the global climate talks for the first time in the conference’s history has drawn criticism from civil society organizations and observers of the country’s multilateral climate processes. whole world.
The host nation of the 28th session of the UN Mega Climate Talks, however, defended the decision with the UAE’s COP28 spokesperson, saying Al Jaber’s experience uniquely positions him to to be able to call on both the public and private sectors to provide “pragmatic solutions”. “to achieve the goals and aspirations of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Al Jabel has a long career as a diplomat, minister and business leader in the energy and renewables industry, including serving as founding CEO of Masdar, a global leader in renewables, and ADNOC . He has also twice served as special envoy for climate change and participated in negotiations for his country. He is, in fact, the first working CEO to serve as COP President.
India, being a key member of different groups of developing countries at the climate talks forum, congratulated Al Jaber on his appointment. “India and UAE have been world leaders in climate change work. We assure India’s full support for a successful COP28,” the environment minister tweeted. Bhupender Yadav.
Calling Al Jaber’s appointment an “interesting development”, prominent TERI colleague and former Indian climate negotiator RR Rashmi said: “The United Arab Emirates is an OPEC member country that has the ambition to achieve net zero carbon by 2050 while simultaneously maintaining oil production.” Amid a deepening climate crisis, the choice of COP President is apparently guided by the UAE’s desire to skillfully balance the conflicting goals of its oil-based economy with those of global carbon reduction goals. emissions and combating climate change.
“However, solutions such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) adopted by the oil industry of which ADNOC’s CEO is a representative are rather controversial and less compelling.”
As COP28 President-Elect, Al Jaber will work to finalize the agenda for the annual conference, in partnership with the UNFCCC Executive Secretary. Simon Steell and the Egyptian President of COP27 Sameh Choukry.
Commenting on his appointment, Al Jaber, through a statement aimed at allaying doubts about the effectiveness of the oil-rich nation’s COP28 presidency, said he would adopt an inclusive approach and bring the world together in a “mission shared to keep 1.5 degrees Celsius (goal) alive and protect the planet” for future generations.
The oil-rich United Arab Emirates has a huge carbon footprint per capita. The country is the fourth largest carbon emitter per capita in the world behind Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the country is the seventh largest producer of fossil fuels in the world with huge export revenues.

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