MMore than 100 US and EU lawmakers appealed to leaders of their countries and the United Nations to oust oil executive Sultan Al Jaber as head of this year’s COP28 climate summit.
Politicians also called for more steps to be taken to limit the influence of fossil-fuel companies in talks to be hosted by the United Arab Emirates at the end of the year. The appointment of Al Jaber, who runs the state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, to lead a conference that aims to spur global action to cut carbon emissions has been controversial from the start.
the letter was addressed US President Joe Biden, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UN climate chief Simon Steele. It was signed by 99 EU and 34 US lawmakers.
“For billions of people, the outcome of COP28 and the subsequent international climate negotiations will be the difference between life and death, chaos and solidarity,” said Manon Aubry, a member of the European Parliament and one of the signatories. “Corporate greed and lobbyist lies got us into this climate crisis. We must stop private interests from meddling in politics and take back ownership of our future.
This is not the first concerted effort to remove Al Jaber. In January, more than two dozen US lawmakers asked the country’s climate envoy John Kerry to replace them as COP28 chief to put diplomatic pressure on the UAE. Green EU MPs made the same case in February a letter Still addressed the United Nations.
Under Al Jaber, Adnoc is set to boost oil and gas production after the International Energy Agency and climate scientists agree the world could blow past the previous limit for global warming through the COP process. Al Jaber is also the chairman of state-owned renewable energy company Masdar.
In response to the letter, the organizers of COP28 have extended their support to Al Jaber. A spokesperson said in an e-mail, “We believe that Dr. Sultan’s experience as an engineer, working across the energy spectrum, combined with his experience as a senior global industry leader, is an asset that will will help drive the UAE’s transformative approach to COP28.” Mailed statement.
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