The United Arab Emirates launches its presidency of world local weather talks on Thursday, with the pinnacle of its nationwide oil firm more likely to take the lead function.
Sultan Al Jaber has served because the nation’s local weather envoy and heads Abu Dhabi Nationwide Oil Firm (Adnoc), the world’s twelfth-largest oil firm by manufacturing, and is closely tipped to tackle the central function of president of talks.
He’s additionally the Minister of Business and Superior Expertise for the UAE and head of the Masdar firm, which focuses on renewable power.
The Cop28 UN local weather summit, which takes place from November 30 in Dubai, shall be a decisive convention that may decide whether or not the world can get on monitor to sort out the local weather disaster. This yr, nations should full a “world stocktake” that assesses the present state of local weather motion and progress towards assembly the targets of the 2015 Paris Settlement.
Whereas some nations have submitted nationwide plans to scale back greenhouse fuel emissions which are consistent with the ambition of the Paris Settlement to restrict world warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial ranges, lots of the world’s greatest emitters have failed to take action, which endangers world warming. local weather targets.
One of many presidency’s roles shall be to carry such recalcitrant governments to account, however many observers concern the UAE, as a serious oil producer and with shut ties to different producers akin to Saudi Arabia, shall be reluctant to take them on.
At Cop27, held in Egypt final November, there have been dozens of oil and fuel lobbyists from the United Arab Emirates, and Gulf states with robust oil and fuel pursuits have been believed to have been among the many blockers, stopping stronger language on scaling again Fossil fuels.
A veteran of the talks, who couldn’t be named, mentioned: “[Al Jaber] spanning two worlds. One of many local weather negotiations, the place now we have to take an enormous leap in emission reductions and finance the transition from fossil fuels; second, as head of Adnoc. The UAE needs to be seen as a frontrunner in meals, expertise, adaptation and probably progressive finance, however how can they pull it off whereas being fossil gasoline polluters?
Some civil society activists have referred to as on Al Jaber to desert his fossil gasoline roles to take up the Cop28 presidency.
Tasneem Essop, the chief director of Local weather Motion Community Worldwide, mentioned: “[If Al Jaber is appointed president of Cop28, it will be] crucial for the world to be assured that he’ll step down from his function as CEO of Adnoc. He can not lead a course of tasked with coping with the local weather disaster with such a battle of curiosity and lead an trade chargeable for the disaster itself.”
She warned: “If he does not step down as chief government it can imply a full-scale takeover of the UN local weather talks by a petrostatic nationwide oil firm and its related fossil gasoline lobbyists. Cop26 in Glasgow had 500 fossil gasoline lobbyists in attendance, the police officer in Egypt witnessed a 25% enhance of their attendance, Cop28 now seems to be open season on vested pursuits who will little question use the local weather negotiations to proceed to undermine any progress on local weather motion.We as civil society [will] demand that Al Jaber do the suitable factor and both stand apart or resign.”
Al Jaber, 49, was described as charming and intelligent by folks in local weather talks and was educated within the US and Britain. Whereas he co-founded Masdar in 2006 and invested closely in photo voltaic power, his function because the nationwide oil firm’s group CEO means he’s additionally chargeable for making as a lot cash as doable for the UAE from its oil manufacturing.
In an interview with the Nationwide newspaper within the Gulf final September, forward of Cop27, Al Jaber argued for a transition away from fossil fuels, however famous that oil and fuel would nonetheless be wanted for some years.
“Law enforcement officials are starting to grasp that the power transition will not be going to occur on the flip of a change,” he informed the paper. “You could protect the present system whereas the world nonetheless will depend on it, and cut back its emissions whereas growing funding in new energies. Progressive local weather motion, involving the speedy deployment of renewable power and different low-carbon sources, has the potential to supply long-term power safety. However we’re not there but.”
The UAE has sought to current itself as a modernizing oil producer, bettering the effectivity of its manufacturing strategies and investing in renewable power. Nonetheless, many query whether or not even an progressive oil financial system can fly the flag for the speedy phase-out of fossil fuels wanted to remain throughout the more and more fragile 1.5C goal.