Organizers of a recent climate and health conference in the United Arab Emirates warned attendees not to criticize corporations or protest, raising alarm ahead of the country’s hosting of the COP28 climate summit later this year, the Financial Times reports. Written guidance at the Forecasting Healthy Futures event last month in Abu Dhabi instructed speakers and panelists to “be aware and respectful of UAE laws,” warning, “Do not criticise Islam, UAE government, corporations or individuals,” and “do not protest.”

Global climate conferences often bring large protests, and the large presence of fossil fuel lobbyists at previous conferences and the appointment of the CEO of the UAE’s state-run oil company as president of COP28 were already concerns for climate advocates. “This is deeply concerning,” Collin Rees of Oil Change International told the FT. “The language circulated here cannot be acceptable at the climate talks. There should be strong pushback on this and the UN should provide as strong a place as possible for the upcoming COP.” (FT $)