Leaders of COP28 United Arab Emirates call for unity

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates –

The United Arab Emirates’ choice to lead the upcoming COP28 climate talks in Dubai called on the world on Tuesday to “fight climate change, not each other”, directly. continued to address the anger activists felt about their choice.

Sultan al-Jaber, CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, also described the upcoming UN negotiations as “unprecedented opportunity to take the energy sector into a revolution”. technology network.”

His speech at the World Government Summit in Dubai sought to showcase his presidential nomination as a bridge between oil companies and climate activists long ago. doubts about the industry’s influence on efforts to limit carbon emissions. Whether it will, however, remains in question.

“We need a major correction,” al-Jaber said.

However, he added: “The strategies we pursue must not leave anyone behind. The policies we adopt must simultaneously support growth and protect the climate.”

Al-Jaber, a 49-year-old longtime climate envoy, is a trusted confidant of UAE leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He’s behind billions of dollars in renewable energy investments — and also leads an oil company that pumps about 4 million barrels of crude a day and hopes to expand to 5 million barrels a day.

Activists equated his nomination with asking “arms dealers to lead the peace negotiations” when the administration announced his nomination in January. However, US climate envoy John Kerry and France’s finance minister both support his choice by the UAE, a key ally in the Middle East.

“There are moments in history when humanity comes together against a common threat. Let’s prove to ourselves that we can do it again,” al-Jaber said. “Let’s put our differences aside. Fight climate change, not against each other.”

Al-Jaber’s speech, which included parts he gave earlier in January, also acknowledged that “capital is a key factor in making loss and damage funds material and operational. move.” That fund, which was agreed at the COP27 negotiations in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, does not include a means to fund them. Al-Jaber’s speech also made no suggestions on how to raise the money.

However, Al-Jaber has called for the world to triple renewable energy capacity, as well as expand nuclear power, improve battery storage and provide carbon capture technology. He also drew applause from a largely Emirati audience by defending the OPEC member nation hosting the climate talks.

“We in the UAE do not shy away from the energy transition,” al-Jaber said. “We’re running towards it.”

Each year, the country hosting the UN negotiations known as the Conference of the Parties — for which the COP is named — nominates a person to chair the negotiations. Hosts often choose a veteran diplomat because negotiations can be difficult to navigate between competing countries and their interests.

The nominee’s position as “COP chair” is confirmed by the delegates at the beginning of the negotiations, usually without objections. However, activists for weeks have criticized his choice.

COP28 will be held in Dubai’s Expo City from November 30 to December 12.

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