The United Arab Emirates intended to use its role as the host of the UN COP28 conference to negotiate oil and gas deals, the BBC has reported.
Document leaks obtained by journalists at the Centre for Climate Reporting and the BBC have revealed that the UAE intended to enter negotiations for fossil fuel deals with at least 15 nations during the COP28 deal’s proceedings.
The documents include proposed talking points for meetings with 27 foreign governments. These talking points include discussing the possibility of joint ventures between Adnoc, the UAE’s state oil company, and foreign governments, to develop fossil fuel projects. The briefing documents also include prepared talking points to explore commercial opportunities for the UAE’s state renewable energy company Masdar.
The COP28 is the UN’s signature conference on addressing the climate crisis, and it is hoped that nations will pledge to limit the rise of the mean global temperature to 1.5C. This ambitious goal involves significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, which involve a drastic reduction in the amount of fossil fuels burnt.
The COP’s President this year is Dr. Sultan al-Jaber, who has been appointed by the UAE. Dr. Sultan happens to be the CEO of Adnoc, the UAE’s state oil company and the state renewables firm Masdar. The role of the COP President is intended to compel countries to be ambitious with their pledges to reduce fossil fuel consumption.
Dr. Sultan’s dual role as the chief executive of a petrostate’s national oil company and climate envoy is seen by many as a clear conflict of interest.