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UAE appoints fossil fuels execs and local weather campaigners as Cop28 advisers



The group will “provide guidance and counsel” to the Cop28 presidency this yr and past

The United Arab Emirates has appointed 31 individuals, together with fossil gasoline executives and local weather campaigners, to its advisory board for November’s Cop28 local weather talks.

The group contains the chair of an Indian fuel firm, the previous head of China’s nationwide oil firm, the ex-boss of the UK’s BP oil agency and the CEO of an Emirati oil and fuel producer.

It additionally options the top of the African local weather basis, a veteran Bangladeshi anti fossil-fuel campaigner and the previous president of the climate-threatened Marshall Islands.

The UAE authorities stated the board introduced collectively “the climate expertise of thought leaders from countries across six continents”.

They stated it contains “policy, industry, energy, finance, civil society, youth and humanitarian action” and “will provide guidance and counsel to the Cop presidency in the run up to Cop28 and beyond”.

However Oil Change Worldwide campaigner Romain Ioualalen instructed Local weather House: “While there has clearly been an effort to make the advisory committee inclusive and diverse, it is deeply concerning to see oil and gas interests being consulted on how to run negotiations to phase out their products.”

Fossil fuels on the agenda

Governments on the local weather talks will debate whether or not to comply with section out fossil fuels.

Alternatively, they might simply comply with section out “fossil fuel emissions”, because the UAE favours.

Or they might not point out fossil fuels in any respect, as oil and fuel producers pressured Cop27 to simply accept final yr.

Fossil pursuits

The checklist options 4 present and former fossil gasoline executives and one banker on a fossil gasoline firm’s board.

Mukesh Ambani is the chair of Reliance Industries, an Indian conglomerate which makes most of its cash from oil refining and petrochemicals however has lately introduced plans to speculate $76 billion in clear vitality initiatives.

Badr Jafr is the CEO of the UAE’s oldest non-public oil and fuel producer Crescent Petroleum. He argued in 2021 that discuss of an vitality transition from fossil fuels to web zero is “reductionist” and fossil fuels must be a part of “our combined energy arsenal”.

Badr Jafr speaks at Davos’s World Financial Discussion board (Picture: World Financial Discussion board)

Bob Dudley and Fu Chengyu are the previous heads of BP and China’s Nationwide Offshore Oil Company respectively.

Dudley is present chair of the Oil and Fuel Local weather Initiative whereas Fu arrange the Worldwide Academy for Carbon Neutrality.

Ioualalen stated that Dudley has no credibility on local weather motion and shouldn’t be a part of that committee”.

He pointed to Dudley’s warning in opposition to rolling out renewable vitality “too fast” and BP’s lobbying in opposition to local weather coverage beneath his management.

Jeffrey Ubben is an investor who sits on the board of American oil and fuel producer ExxonMobil, which plans to speculate $84 billion in fossil gasoline improvement this decade.

Justifying this board seat, he instructed the Monetary Occasions: “Fossil fuels are going to be consumed. I’m sorry. If they’re going to be consumed, let’s determine the best way to decarbonise them and let’s layer within the inexperienced hydrogen know-how because it turns into extra reasonably priced. However don’t cancel these corporations.”

Jeffrey Ubben on the World Financial Discussion board in 2018 (Ben Hinder/World Financial Discussion board)

Local weather advocates

The checklist of advisers additionally contains many figures who’ve lengthy warned that the world must transition away from fossil fuels.

Saleemul Huq is a Bangladeshi local weather scientist who has attended each Cop and stated in 2021 that any exploration for fossil fuels “should henceforth be declared a crime against humanity”.

However he stated yesterday that he could be a “one agenda adviser” and solely advise the Cop28 president Sultan Al-Jaber on organising a fund for local weather victims.

Hindou Ibrahim on the World Financial Discussion board in 2022 (Picture: Walter Duerst/World Financial Discussion board)

The checklist contains Hindou Ibrahim, who lobbies for indigenous communities in Chad and Carlos Lopes, an economist from Guinea-Bissau who heads the board of the African Local weather Basis.


Two former presidents of Cop local weather talks – France’s Laurent Fabius and Peru’s Manuel Pulgar-Vidal – have been tapped up for recommendation. Pulgar-Vidal chaired the Cop20 local weather talks in Lima in 2014 earlier than Fabius oversaw the Cop21 Paris local weather talks, which resulted within the Paris settlement, the following yr.

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal (proper) and Laurent Fabius (centre) in 2015

Izabella Teixera, who led Brazil’s delegation to the Paris local weather talks as surroundings minister, can be on the board.

The Marshall Islands former president Hilda Heine will converse for susceptible Pacific islands like hers whereas Iceland’s former president Olafur Grimmson will give a perspective from the thawing Arctic.

Extra controversial is the inclusion of Ernest Moniz, who as Barack Obama’s vitality secretary pushed the thought of utilizing fuel a a “bridge fuel” from coal.

The group is six-tenths male and the Center East is disproportionately represented, with seven of the 31 members.

The remainder of Asia has simply 5 advisers, as does Africa. Latin America has simply two and the Pacific one. Six are from Europe and 5 are from North America.

The Cop28 presidency stated appropriately that 65% of members are from the International South.

This text was up to date on 18 Could 2023 to incorporate Romain Ioualalen’s feedback

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