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Emirati Leader Rejects Claims of Seeking Oil Deals at COP28 Climate Talks

The Emirati president-designate for the upcoming United Nations COP28 climate talks vehemently denied allegations that his nation intended to use the summit as an opportunity for striking oil and gas agreements.

Sultan al-Jaber, who heads the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., dismissed reports as an attempt to undermine the work of the COP28 presidency. The report claimed that leaked documents indicated the Emirates’ plans to discuss energy deals with various countries, including oil, gas, and renewable energy.

Al-Jaber refuted these allegations, stating that they were false and baseless. He called for respect and emphasized the UAE’s transparent approach to the COP process.

The BBC defended their investigation, asserting its adherence to the highest editorial standards. However, it did not provide further details about the report, which was published in collaboration with the Center for Climate Reporting.

Credits: @elsultanahmed.j / Instagram

Following al-Jaber’s remarks, a fake news release was circulated, claiming that he had agreed to resign. COP28 organizers later confirmed that this information was false, and al-Jaber would continue in his role.

Each year, the host country of the Conference of the Parties, or COP, nominates a chairperson to lead the U.N. negotiations. This person’s appointment as “COP president” typically receives confirmation from delegates at the start of the talks. While al-Jaber’s selection has drawn criticism from activists, the negotiations are expected to proceed as planned.

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The state oil company, ADNOC, has expressed its intention to increase crude oil production from 4 million to 5 million barrels per day. This move will lead to a rise in carbon-emitting crude oil and natural gas production.

Al-Jaber, a longtime climate envoy, enjoys the confidence of UAE leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He has been instrumental in allocating significant funds towards renewable energy initiatives in the federation of seven sheikhdoms.

Credits: DepositPhotos

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It is worth noting that al-Jaber’s defensive response to activists’ criticisms sheds light on the nature of the Emirates as an autocratic nation.

Although it is a crucial ally to the United States in both business and military matters, the country maintains strict control over speech, prohibits political parties, and criminalizes labor strikes. President Joe Biden will not attend the COP28 summit due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, with Vice President Kamala Harris taking his place.

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