The pick of the United Arab Emirates to lead the COP28 climate talks in Dubai on Tuesday addressed the anger felt by activists by saying, “fight climate change, not each other.”
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. CEO Sultan Al-Jaber also called the upcoming negotiations at the United Nations an “unprecedented opportunity to engage the energy industry in a technological revolution.”
In his speech at the World Government Summit in Dubai, he attempted to portray his proposed presidency as a link between climate activists who have long been wary of the oil industry’s influence on efforts to reduce carbon emissions. However, it is still uncertain whether it will.
“We want a significant course revision,” Al-Jaber said.
He did, however, add: We must ensure that no one is left behind by our strategies. We must adopt policies that support both growth and the environment at the same time.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s trusted confidant is 49-year-old climate ambassador Al-Jaber. In addition to being in charge of an oil company that pumps approximately 4 million barrels of crude per day and hopes to expand to 5 million daily, he is the driving force behind billions of dollars’ worth of investments in renewable energy.
When authorities announced his nomination in January, activists compared it to asking “arms dealers to lead peace talks.” However, John Kerry, the United States’ climate ambassador, and France’s finance minister have both endorsed the UAE’s selection.
“Humanity has come together at times in history to combat a common threat. “Let’s show ourselves that we are capable of doing it once more,” Al-Jaber said. Put aside our differences. Combat climate change alone, not together.
Al-Jaber acknowledged that “capital is critical to make the loss-and-damage fund real and operational” in his speech, which included portions he had previously delivered in January. At the COP27 talks in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, that fund was agreed upon, but it did not include a way to pay for them.
Al-Jaber did, however, urge the world to triple its capacity for renewable energy, increase nuclear power, enhance battery storage, and supply carbon-capture technology. He also defended the OPEC member nation that was hosting the climate talks, which drew applause from the mostly Emirati audience.
“We in the UAE are not avoiding the energy change,” Al-Jaber said. ” We are sprinting in its direction.
The country hosting the United Nations negotiations, which are referred to as the Conference of the Parties (COP), nominates a chairperson each year. Because it can be difficult to steer the discussions between competing nations and their interests, hosts typically select a veteran diplomat.
At the beginning of the talks, delegates confirm the nominee’s position as “COP president,” typically without objection. Nonetheless, activists for quite a long time have been condemning his choice.
From November 30 to December 12, Dubai’s Expo City will host COP28.