More than 130 members of Congress and the European Parliament called for Sultan Al-Jaber, who runs the state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, to step down as president for the next U.N. Climate Change Conference that will be held late this year in the United Arab Emirates.
“It’s pretty straightforward: The head of a national oil company should not be the president-designate of a climate conference,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) told the Washington Post. “It’s a slap in the face to young climate activists.” Presidents of the U.N. climate talks help resolve disputes among delegates and diplomats, and ostensibly are supposed to ensure the final agreement is a step toward addressing the climate crisis in the timeframe needed to avoid the worst consequences of the warming planet.
But U.S. climate envoy John Kerry previously voiced support for the appointment of Al-Jaber, describing him a “terrific choice” because of his role as an oil major leader. (AP, Reuters, TIME $, Washington Post $, Bloomberg $, Politico $)