The United Arab Emirates on Thursday named Sultan al-Jaber, the CEO of the UAE’s state-run oil company, as president of COP28 which will be held in that country in November. “This appointment goes beyond putting the fox in charge of the hen-house,” said Teresa Anderson, global lead on climate justice, ActionAid.
The world’s leading climate scientists have concluded, with “unequivocal” certainty, that the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels is the main cause of climate change. “COP28 must speed up the global phase-out of fossil fuels – we cannot have another COP where fossil fuel interests are allowed to sacrifice our futures to eke out another few years of profit,” Ugandan climate justice activist Vanessa Nakate said.
A UN IPCC report last April concluded the world must immediately cease all new fossil fuel infrastructure and phase out existing fossil fuel extraction and combustion — and said entrenched “status quo” actors are the main barriers to doing so.
Backlash from those seeking to limit and halt the present and mounting impacts of climate change was swift and predictably forceful. “An oil company CEO cannot be the kind of President that COP28 needs,” Catherine Abreu, founder and executive director of environmental nonprofit Destination Zero, told ABC News. “A person tasked with making the most profit possible from oil and gas extraction can’t be the same person tasked with landing the most ambitious outcome possible from a climate conference.” (AP, Washington Post $, ABC, Context, Forbes, FT $, CNN, Reuters, BBC, The Hill, Climate Home, CNBC)