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‘Fight climate change, not each other,’ says UAE COP28 leader to activists – EQ Mag

‘Fight climate change, not each other,’ says UAE COP28 leader to activists – EQ Mag


The United Arab Emirates’ pick to lead the upcoming COP28 climate talks in Dubai called on the world to fight climate change, not each other, addressing the anger activists felt over his selection.

Sultan al-Jaber, the CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., also described the upcoming United Nations negotiations as an unprecedented opportunity to engage the energy industry in a technological revolution.

His speech at the World Government Summit in Dubai sought to present his nominated presidency as a bridge between oil companies and climate activists long suspicious of the industry’s influence on efforts to limit carbon emissions. Whether it will, however, remains in question.

We need a major course correction, al-Jaber said.

However, he added: The strategies we pursue must leave no one behind. The policies we adopt must be pro-growth and pro-climate at the same time.

Al-Jaber, a 49-year-old longtime climate envoy, is a trusted confidant of UAE leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He’s been behind billions in investments in renewable energy and also leads an oil company that pumps some 4 million barrels of crude a day and hopes to expand to 5 million daily.

Activists have equated his nomination to asking arms dealers to lead peace talks when authorities announced his nomination in January. However, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry and France’s finance minister both have backed his selection by the UAE, a key Mideast ally.

Each year, the country hosting the U.N. negotiations known as the Conference of the Parties where COP gets its name nominates a person to chair the talks. Hosts typically pick a veteran diplomat as the talks can be difficult to steer between competing nations and their interests. The nominee’s position as COP president is confirmed by delegates at the start of the talks, usually without objections.

COP28 will be held at Dubai’s Expo City from Nov. 30 through Dec. 12.

Source: PTI
Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network