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gerontocrat

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COP 28
« on: January 16, 2023, 07:47:12 PM »
The President of COP28 to be held in December this year is the boss of the world's 12th largest oil & gas company.

I debated with myself whether opening this topic is an act of pure masochism. But here we go anyway.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-64240206
Climate change: UAE names oil chief to lead COP28 talks

The head of one of the world's biggest oil companies has been named to lead the COP28 global climate talks in Dubai, later this year.
Quote

Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber is currently the chief executive officer of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.

He is also the minister for industry and advanced technology for the COP28 hosts, the United Arab Emirates.

Campaigners say he must stand down from his oil business role while president as it is a clear conflict of interest.

They believe someone steeped in the oil industry may not push countries to rapidly reduce their production and use of fossil fuel, which scientists say is critical to avoiding dangerous climate change.

Running the global climate talks process is not an easy job - for months before, and especially during the conference, every word and action of the president is heavily scrutinised.

COP28 is already mired in some controversy as the hosts, the United Arab Emirates, are one of the world's biggest producers of oil and gas.

The appointment of a key figure in the energy industry as the president-designate of COP28 will likely increase the concerns that the global climate talks process is facing significant influence from fossil fuel interests.

The recent COP27 gathering in Egypt was described by some attendees as a "glorified fossil fuel trade show".

Analysis of those who registered for the event showed a significant increase in those who were connected to the oil and gas industry compared to previous meetings. Among the large delegation from the UAE at the conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, there were 70 people closely connected to fossil fuels.

Mr Al Jaber is the chief executive of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, said to be the world's 12th biggest oil company. Over the past decade he has become the face of the UAE's energy industry but he will be the first serving oil executive to assume the role of COP president.

As well as being a minister and his country's climate envoy, he is also chairman of Masdar, the government-owned renewable energy company that he helped set up.

He has certainly long warned of the dangers of climate change but campaigners are concerned about his appointment, and are calling for him to step aside from his industry roles.

"It is imperative for the world to be reassured that he will step down from his role as the CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company," said Tasneem Essop, from Climate Action International.

"He cannot preside over a process that is tasked to address the climate crisis with such a conflict of interest, heading an industry that is responsible for the crisis itself."

What will concern campaigners is that major oil and gas producers are among those opposed to a more rapid phase out of all fossil fuels.

At COP27, there was a strong push from more than 80 countries for the conference to declare support for a phase down of oil and gas as well as coal. This attempt came to nothing in the face of strong opposition from countries the rely of fossil fuel exports.

While Mr Al Jaber's appointment has been met with criticism from activists, others involved in climate diplomacy have welcomed the move.

"The UAE has adopted a sound green growth strategy and is a major investor in renewable energy both at home and abroad," said Yvo de Boer, who was UN climate chief between 2006 and 2010.


"The COP president-designate has been instrumental on many of these issues. This equips him with the understanding, experience and responsibility to make COP28 ambitious, innovative and future focussed."

Certainly those skills will be tested at the gathering in Dubai in early December this year.

COP28 will hold the first formal assessment of progress on cutting carbon since the Paris agreement was signed.

The "global stocktake" as it is called will be a key moment in clarifying just how much further countries will need to go in restricting their emissions.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: COP 28
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2023, 09:37:37 PM »
Well, we know from recent posts in the Oil & Gas thread that Oil companies knew a spectacular amount about the climate impacts of petroleum use, decades ago.
/s

Seriously, did other countries simply give up, and not want to be blamed for what they depressingly thought would likely be a poor outcome?  Or did they consider this arrangement to be a money-saving device, at a time when they were all strapped for cash?
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

gerontocrat

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Re: COP 28
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2023, 10:22:49 PM »
From my first post...
Quote
COP28 will hold the first formal assessment of progress on cutting carbon since the Paris agreement was signed. The "global stocktake" as it is called will be a key moment in clarifying just how much further countries will need to go in restricting their emissions.

So what will be the UK Government's "stocktake"submission to COP 28? I doubt it will be the Net Zero Report by Chris Skidmore, the UK Government's "Net Zero Tsar", a Conservative MP known to be a solidly loyal Conservative. (He is not seeking relection in 2024 - his goodbye present?).

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/12/rishi-sunak-stop-start-policies-harming-uk-green-investment-says-net-zero-tsar
Sunak’s stop-start policies harming UK green investment, says net zero tsar

Exclusive: Lack of confidence in ‘inconsistent’ government is huge barrier to investors, finds Chris Skidmore
Quote
Rishi Sunak has been criticised by his own net zero tsar, who says the UK risks missing its green targets due to inconsistent policies and lack of commitment to pledges.

In his net zero review, seen by the Guardian, Chris Skidmore said a large barrier to renewable energy was a lack of confidence in the government, which has inconsistent policy support for green energy, with measures such as Sunak’s new electricity tax.

Skidmore, the Conservative MP for Kingswood, was asked by the former prime minister Liz Truss to write a review on the policy to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. He was asked to find out what was working with the policy regarding not putting more carbon into the atmosphere than the UK absorbs, and to make the business case for the goal.

One issue mentioned throughout the report is a lack of policy commitment. Skidmore said: “The overwhelming impression I got was we will make net zero more affordable if we are able to deliver further and faster, which requires certainty and consistency of approach. We need to de-risk investment, which will actually drive down the costs of net zero, and if the recommendations put forward by my review are followed we will create incentives to invest in renewables.

“The review recognises we have fallen behind, but it sets out how we can be world-leading in these areas once again. We need to remove the barriers that are in place at the moment.”

Dan McGrail, chief executive of the trade body RenewableUK, said: “Sudden policy changes like the imposition of the electricity generator levy, which kicked in at the start of this year, have put investment at risk.”

Chris Hewett, chief executive of the trade association Solar Energy UK, said: “Skidmore is right to demand the replacement of stop-start policies with certainty for investors.”

Skidmore cited agriculture as one of the main culprits of carbon emissions, and said its share of emissions could, by 2030, grow from 12% to 30%. To encourage people to eat more environmentally friendly foods, Skidmore recommended “eco-labelling” rather than a tax or ban on foods such as red meat.

He also said that farmers had been disincentivised from farming in an environmentally friendly way by the confusion around the government’s post-Brexit nature-friendly agriculture payments, and that there had been missed opportunities for nature-based solutions with most policy focused on woodlands and peatland rather than many other carbon sinks such as wetlands.

In the review, Skidmore called for a stable policy environment, with consistent support for renewables, as well as a reform of the way the government financially helps renewable energy projects to make that more attractive for investors.

But climate campaigners criticised the review for being unambitious and for not calling for strong policies to avert the climate crisis.

Doug Parr, policy director for Greenpeace UK, said: “Whilst there is much useful analysis of the problem the review stops short of recommending the kind of muscular policies that would really drive change towards the massive growth in renewables which will be necessary.

“Without a strong push from government the renewables revolution will still proceed, because the economic logic dictates it should. But it won’t happen at the pace it needs to in order to forestall some of the worst effects of climate change.”

While the review says the UK needs a “rooftop revolution” for solar panels and suggests making planning decisions easier to enable this, it stops short of recommending mandates for solar panels on new builds, or more funding to encourage take-up.

Parr added: “All credible scenarios of our future economy rely on renewable energy being the backbone of the future energy system, and the review should have said government needs to change the remit of the regulator to include net zero delivery, insist on solar panels being on new roofs, expand the scale of renewables contracts and rapidly lay out the location of the offshore electricity grid. Instead, the government seem like a mildly curious spectator, wondering why their aspirations aren’t materialising without ever intervening to make them happen.”

The renewable energy industry has tentatively welcomed the review, with industry leaders saying it contains good ideas that should be adopted by the government.

McGrail said: “If the government is looking to increase the economic benefits of the UK’s decarbonisation ambitions, Chris Skidmore’s review has some really clear easy wins. As he suggests, setting targets for new onshore wind and solar capacity would certainly increase investor confidence, as well as ensuring we can decarbonise our electricity system by 2035.”

He also praised Skidmore for promoting the use of “a wide range of renewables to strengthen Britain’s energy security, including innovative technologies like floating wind and tidal stream”.

He said that he would have liked the review to have told the government to take a “war room” approach to tackling grid connectivity, “with the prime minister bringing all relevant bodies together to address this urgently”.

Hewett said: “We very much hope that Whitehall will embrace his call to establish a joint taskforce with the solar industry to work on a roadmap for reaching 70GW of solar [capacity] by 2035 – about four-and-a-half times what we have now.

“The number-one priority of this group will have to be unblocking access to the grid – which is pushing back the completion of many large projects well into the next decade.”

Polly Billington, chief executive of the UK100 group of local government leaders, said the review showed that local authorities must play a leading role in implementing policy. “This independent review confirms what UK100 has been saying for years: local authorities are the key to achieving the UK’s net zero goals,” she said.

“[We particularly welcome] the recommendation to end the disjointed mess of short-term, competitive local authority funding pots. This move would help communities maximise the economic and social benefits of net zero while making the most cost-effective use of resources.”

Ed Miliband, the shadow climate secretary, said: “Another day, another Conservative MP calling out the total failure of this government over many years to act with the urgency and consistency that the climate crisis demands. Chris Skidmore is right about the fact that 13 years of delay, dither and a refusal to go all-in on a green energy sprint under the Conservatives, is depriving our country of the economic opportunities climate action offers.

“The tragedy is that Rishi Sunak is making things even worse. He is a fossil fuel prime minister in a renewable age who has never understood what this report reaffirms – that going green is pro-business, pro-worker and is a vital part of growing our economy.”

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has been approached for comment.

& here is comment....

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/12/why-net-zero-tsar-review-is-a-damning-indictment-of-tory-government-chris-skidmore
Analysis
Why net zero tsar’s review is a damning indictment of Tory government
Fiona Harvey and Helena Horton
Some say Chris Skidmore should have gone further but party loyalist lays bare policy failure across the board
Quote
Shortly before Christmas, the former energy minister Chris Skidmore announced he would not be standing again as a Conservative MP.

He was one of a slew of Tory MPs to do so, amid party turmoil and plunging opinion polls. But unlike his colleagues, he was in a unique position to make his views felt. During her brief premiership, Liz Truss had effectively made him the UK net zero tsar, tasked with writing a comprehensive review of the country’s progress towards achieving the legally binding target for greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Now Skidmore, one of the co-authors with Truss and the former chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng of the notorious rightwing "Britannia Unchained" tract, has delivered a stinging broadside against the government he is leaving.

His review argues that the Conservatives have failed on nearly every aspect of net zero policy. Though it is cloaked in polite language, and couched in terms of constructive suggestions rather than hard-hitting new policy demands, there is little in its 320 pages to show the government is on track on any of the wide range of policies needed, on areas from transport to housing, farming to energy generation.

“From a former Tory minster, this is a very significant clear-eyed analysis of what is missing from government policy,” said Polly Billington, the chief executive of UK100, a group of local government leaders that campaigns for climate action. “This is a strong critique of the shortcomings on net zero.”

Across the areas of policy that are key to meeting emissions target, Skidmore records failure after failure. Renewable energy growth has been hampered by government U-turns and dithering, he notes. Homes are leaking heat because of the government’s refusal to enact insulation programmes, and new ones are still being built with no regard to net zero standards. Land use is confused and farmers are not being helped to make low-carbon choices. Transport policy emerges from this critique as more or less an abject mess, though Skidmore skimps on the recommendations he could have made to rectify it.

Yet his review also makes it clear that net zero offers huge economic potential for the UK. Rather than being a cost, as Skidmore’s rightwing colleagues would argue, the review shows in detail how pursuing net zero can bring: green jobs, economic growth to regions in need of levelling-up, health and wellbeing benefits as well as fulfilling the UK’s international climate obligations.

Skidmore has said how deep-delving and broad-ranging this review is. He told the Guardian: “The independent review ‘Mission Zero’ is the largest ever engagement with organisations, business and industry on net zero. As the independent chair, I’ve personally listened to over 1,000 individuals and companies in over 50 roundtables held across the country in every region and devolved nation of the UK. The review is as comprehensive as I could make it – with over 130 recommendations in the 330 page report.”

He added: “Above all, I hope it demonstrates how to implement and deliver on net zero effectively, efficiently and in the most cost effective way by getting on with the transition. As the report explains, net zero is a huge investment opportunity for the UK and I have sought to set out the positive case for why we should be making it easier to invest in sustainable and renewable energy.”

Lord Stern, a global development and climate economist, said the findings pointed to new economic potential for the UK. “[This is] a rigorous, robust, and inclusive review of the evidence on the economics of the UK’s net zero transition, [which argues] convincingly that the transition to a net zero economy is the growth opportunity of the 21st century, and the UK is well-placed to benefit from the increasing demand for net zero goods and services, if it makes the right public and private investments.”

He added: “It highlights the critical importance of government creating an environment that is conducive to this investment by providing clarity, certainty, consistency and continuity of policy. This transition, and the investment and innovation it embodies, are at the core of the UK’s growth story for the coming decade.”

Campaigners have said they would have liked to see a much harder-hitting set of recommendations across the board: some were disappointed, and felt that Skidmore had pulled his punches.

But it would be wrong to under-estimate his work. This is a damning document, by one of the party’s own loyalists, laying bare how badly off track the UK government is on its core climate policy commitment, and how little appetite the government has for seizing the policy and economic opportunities on offer.

Comment from me

I live on the North Coast of Scotland, and am surrounded by onshore wind-farms, with 2 new ones progressing to approval within sight of where I live. The transmission lines head south. England has blocked onshore wind, Scotland is pushing growth hard.

& The result for me? My standard electricity tariff is the highest in mainland UK. Thanks, England and the artificial market free-for-all.
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gerontocrat

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Re: COP 28
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2023, 01:41:57 AM »
Realpolitik rules, OK

https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-politics-united-states-government-only-on-ap-john-kerry-b5d6482d465dcc8fa5063af9a0e44041
John Kerry tells AP he backs UAE oil chief overseeing COP28

Quote
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — U.S. climate envoy John Kerry backs the United Arab Emirates’ decision to appoint the CEO of a state-run oil company to preside over the upcoming U.N. climate negotiations in Dubai, citing his work on renewable energy projects.

In an interview Sunday with The Associated Press, the former U.S. secretary of state acknowledged that the Emirates and other countries relying on fossil fuels to fund their state coffers face finding “some balance” ahead.

However, he dismissed the idea that Sultan al-Jaber’s appointment should be automatically disqualified due to him leading the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. Activists, however, equated it to asking “arms dealers to lead peace talks” when authorities announced his nomination Thursday.

“I think that Dr. Sultan al-Jaber is a terrific choice because he is the head of the company. That company knows it needs to transition,” Kerry said after attending an energy conference in the Emirati capital. “He knows — and the leadership of the UAE is committed to transitioning.”

In an interview Sunday with The Associated Press, the former U.S. secretary of state acknowledged that the Emirates and other countries relying on fossil fuels to fund their state coffers face finding “some balance” ahead.

However, he dismissed the idea that Sultan al-Jaber’s appointment should be automatically disqualified due to him leading the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. Activists, however, equated it to asking “arms dealers to lead peace talks” when authorities announced his nomination Thursday.

“I think that Dr. Sultan al-Jaber is a terrific choice because he is the head of the company. That company knows it needs to transition,” Kerry said after attending an energy conference in the Emirati capital. “He knows — and the leadership of the UAE is committed to transitioning.”

Still, Abu Dhabi plans to increase its production of crude oil from 4 million barrels a day up to 5 million even while the UAE promises to be carbon neutral by 2050 — a target that remains difficult to assess and one that the Emirates still hasn’t fully explained how it will reach.

Kerry pointed to a speech al-Jaber gave Saturday in Abu Dhabi, in which he called for the upcoming COP — or Conference of Parties — to move “from goals to getting it done across mitigation, adaptation, finance and loss and damage.” Al-Jaber also warned that the world “must be honest with ourselves about how much progress we have actually achieved, and how much further and faster we truly need to go.”

Skepticism remains among activists over al-Jaber, however. A call by countries, including India and the United States, for a phase down of oil and natural gas never reached a public discussion during COP27 in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in November.

Activists worry that COP being held in a Mideast nation reliant on fossil fuel sales for a second year in a row could see something similar happen in the Emirates.

Asked about that fear, Kerry said: “I don’t believe UAE was involved in changing that.”


“There’s going to be a level of scrutiny — and and I think that’s going to be very constructive,” the former U.S. senator and 2004 presidential contender said. “It’s going to help people, you know, stay on the line here.”

“I think this is a time, a new time of accountability,” he added.

Still, the Emirates and the U.S. maintain close military relations, regardless of the federation making policy decisions disliked by Washington.

Dubai’s Jebel Ali Port is the most-used port of call for the U.S. Navy outside of America. Some 3,500 American troops are deployed in the country, including at Abu Dhabi’s Al Dhafra Air Base and a Navy outpost in Fujairah. The UAE has some $29 billion in pending defense sales with the Americans, including purchasing its most-advanced air defense system known by the acronym THAAD.
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Sebastian Jones

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Re: COP 28
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2023, 04:02:01 AM »
The capture of the COP process by the fossil fuel industry and their fanboys in some governments is beyond appalling.
I see little point in attending the next COP.
It would be like holding it in the Canadian province of Alberta, presided over by its oil soaked environment minister.
No jurisdiction hell bent on increasing fossil fuel production should be considered as a host for climate talks.
This is a dire blow.

Rodius

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Re: COP 28
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2023, 04:56:26 AM »
This is so tragic it is becoming funny.

I keep wanting to believe we will figure this shit out (knowing full well we cant do it anymore and this is more about prepping rather than stopping it), and the industries that ignored the science they researched and who hindered attempts to stop it from spreading when it was still possible are STILL running the show.

I might find a Doomer forum.

Garabaldi

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Re: COP 28
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2023, 06:01:21 AM »
I find it difficult to comprehend how ASIF contributors expect to establish international agreements to manage climate change by not talking to anybody. There are very few states serious about climate change, the rich hypocritical in the northern EU and the soon to submerged ones in Pacific and Indian oceans. I doubt think we would get a similar reaction from ASIF if it was held in Australia, despite our pitiful history of climate inaction despite being one the highest per contributors to the problem.

NeilT

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Re: COP 28
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2023, 02:50:32 PM »
There are times when dialogue will resolve issues.  However with an entrenched attitude then vocally refusing dialogue whilst making the world aware that those who want to talk ONLY want to talk, not to act and that talk is to reduce whatever action may be possible; could be a far better option.

Refusing to engage in a useless talking shop is a viable option, however there needs to be an alternative.  I.e. those countries who do want to do something getting together and doing it whilst globally lambasting those who do not want to do anything.

The best action is action to stop consuming the very products they are trying to protect.  The fossil lobby want to derail that action by talk which achieves nothing.

Not that I expect this to happen.  But I do see it as a viable option.

For instance walking away and creating a law which bans the sale of FF vehicles in 2030 (ahead of the current 2035), then banning FF vehicles in general from 2040, is a real solid action. Also banning coal fired power from 2030 and gas fired power from 2040 is another solid action.  It doesn't require any talk.  It does, however, impact the fossil lobby.  Then they might talk sense.
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gerontocrat

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Re: COP 28
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2023, 06:49:57 PM »
Confirmation that the CEO of the Abu Dhabi Oil Company will stay in that position while President of  COP 28.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/13/uae-cop28-president-sultan-al-jaber-to-keep-role-as-head-of-national-oil-company
UAE’s Cop28 president will keep role as head of national oil company

Campaigners warn ‘breathtaking conflict of interest’ could jeopardise climate negotiating process
Quote
Sultan Al Jaber, the government minister for United Arab Emirates who will preside over this year’s crucial UN climate talks, will retain his roles as head of the country’s oil company and sustainable energy businesses, UAE has confirmed.

Campaigners have been angered by the decision, revealed by the Guardian on Wednesday and confirmed on Thursday by the UAE government, which they see as a clear conflict of interest, with some likening it to putting a tobacco company head in charge of an anti-smoking treaty, and warning it could jeopardise the negotiating process and hasten climate breakdown.
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kassy

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Re: COP 28
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2023, 06:56:04 PM »
I debated with myself whether opening this topic is an act of pure masochism. But here we go anyway.

Funny i was pondering the same thing.

Does it matter what they agree on? Pledges with no supporting action over the years turn into lies. The back room energy dealing was active last round and it will be again.

It is telling that somehow the fossil fuel industry is always part of the talks. Did the coolant industry get to vote on the CFCs? Of course the FF lawyers and diplomats are involved in maiming the AR6 text too, mainly the executive summary. Reading that is masochism too. Although you can make it fun by looking for the most convolutes paragraph.

But then again the rest consists of waiting for a BOE or the acceleration of Thwaites with as bonus  the Amazon possibly reaching it´s tipping point.

We will see what they will say at the time.   
 

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gerontocrat

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Re: COP 28
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2023, 10:00:21 PM »
An opinion piece from Bill McGuire. It is hard to believe he's got it wrong. Why join a crap game when you know the dice are loaded.

But no more from me until we get some hard news with data.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/jan/16/fossil-fuel-destroyed-cops-un-compromised-cop28
Let’s face reality. Fossil fuel interests have destroyed the Cops – we need something new
Bill McGuire
It beggars belief that the UN thought it a good idea to allow an authoritarian petro-state to host an already compromised Cop28
Bill McGuire is professor emeritus of geophysical and climate hazards at UCL

Quote
There is a battle raging over the heart and soul of the UN Cop conferences, which have taken place every year since 1995. On one side are the climate scientists, policymakers, and representatives of countries most under threat from global heating and of nations that simply “get” the disastrous effects of the climate crisis. On the other side is the fossil-fuel industry.

The battle has largely been fought under the radar, but it has been going on for some time. And those who fly the fossil-fuel flag are on the brink of victory. The attack began seriously to gain ground at Cop25. First Jair Bolsonaro’s Brazil withdrew its offer to host the event, then stand-in Chile pulled out due to civil unrest. The Spanish government stepped up at the last minute, and so did its fossil-fuel corporations. The Spanish energy giants Iberdrola and Endesa – the latter one of the country’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters – paid wads of cash to become major sponsors and buy the right to have their logos plastered all over the conference venue.

At Cop26 in Glasgow in 2021 the fossil-fuel invasion continued, this time taking the form of more than 500 delegates representing oil, gas and coal interests. These were lobbyist shock troops charged with ensuring that their industry wouldn’t be hindered in its quest to use more fossil carbon. Last year, at Cop27 – hosted by Egypt at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh – the fossil-fuel sector consolidated its position by hiking its contingent to a whopping 636 delegates.

The 2023 climate conference, Cop28, will be held a few weeks before Christmas in the United Arab Emirates, and the fossil-fuel lobby already knows it is getting the best present it could ever wish for. Last week, the chief of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), Sultan Al Jaber, was paraded as the president of Cop28, making the triumph of the fossil-fuel sector complete. It’s like a big tobacco CEO hosting a cancer conference, except this time the health of the whole planet is at stake.

It beggars belief that the UN thought it a good idea to allow an authoritarian petro-state to host such a critical meeting at the height of the climate emergency. Given the UAE’s huge investment in oil and gas, it was always likely that there would be serious tensions at Cop28 between action on climate and the fossil-fuel industry. Handing the presidency to Al Jaber has compromised the conference beyond repair, reinforcing concerns that the whole Cop process simply isn’t fit for purpose.
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kassy

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Re: COP 28
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2023, 01:47:45 PM »
African activists question credibility of upcoming UN climate talks


MOMBASA, Kenya (AP) — Climate activists in Africa are expressing anger toward the United Nations climate agency, accusing it of allowing corporations and individuals with dubious climate credentials to greenwash their polluting activities by participating in its annual climate conference.

...

Activists say they are increasingly concerned about oil and gas representatives thwarting the conference, where countries try and agree on ways to cut planet-warming activities. An analysis of the provisional list of last year’s conference participants found 636 people linked to fossil fuel companies were set to attend, a 25 percent increase from 2021.

Campaign groups on the continent are calling on blocs of climate-vulnerable nations to reject any move by the UAE that gives fossil fuel actors control of global climate discussions.

“This is the textbook definition of impunity and conflict of interest,” Mithika Mwenda, PACJA’s executive director said in a statement Monday on al-Jaber, where he also called for the president-designate to step down. “It is hard to see al-Jaber leading objective, science-backed negotiations in the interest of the most vulnerable.”

...

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/african-activists-question-credibility-of-upcoming-un-climate-talks
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gerontocrat

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Re: COP 28
« Reply #12 on: Today at 03:38:48 AM »
Can it get worse? Yes, of course. it can and has....

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/feb/03/uae-oil-company-cop28
UAE oil company employees given roles in office hosting Cop28

Exclusive: at least 12 officials at body hosting Cop28 appear to have come straight from fossil fuel industry.
Quote
At least a dozen employees from the United Arab Emirate’s state-owned oil company have apparently taken up roles with the office of the UAE’s climate change special envoy, who will host this year’s Cop28 UN climate summit.

The revelation adds to growing concerns over the potential for blurred lines between the team hosting this year’s crucial summit and the oil-rich country’s influential fossil fuel industry.

The officials were apparently working in the UAE’s oil and gas industry immediately before taking up roles in the Cop28 team, according to an analysis of LinkedIn accounts by the independent investigative group Centre for Climate Reporting (CCR), and seen by the Guardian.

Among the officials are two former Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) engineers who will act as negotiators on behalf of the UAE at the conference, despite their LinkedIn profiles suggesting they may not have a background in international climate diplomacy.

Two of the employees have been seconded from their roles at Adnoc, according to LinkedIn accounts reviewed by CCR. Meanwhile, senior executives at the oil company have been “tasked with supporting” the UAE’s role as hosts of this year’s conference.

The findings follow the recent announcement that Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber, the chief executive of Adnoc, will preside over the conference in November while retaining his role at the oil company. Climate campaigners and some politicians have called for Jaber to give up his oil role while hosting the summit, to avoid any conflict of interest.

If we don’t make some dramatic changes, Cop28 is going to be the lost climate summit,” said the US congressman Jared Huffman, who in a letter last week called on the special presidential envoy for climate, John Kerry, to push the UAE to remove Jaber from his post as Cop28 president. “To somehow pretend that all of these fossil fuel personnel and all of these connections are not a massive threat to the entire conference goes beyond naive.”

Sami Joost, a spokesperson for the UAE climate change special envoy, said: “The individuals who are being hired have come from a variety of backgrounds and sectors … Once in post, these individuals are entirely focused on the job of delivering Cop28 and have no obligations to their former employers.”

Adnoc did not respond to questions about its ties to the envoy.

Records also suggest at least some members of the Cop28 team may be working in the same building as the oil company. Filings with the US justice department last year listed Adnoc’s headquarters as the address for the UAE climate change special envoy. The United Nations, which organises the annual conferences, has questioned the UAE delegation about its independence from Adnoc, according to a recent Politico report.

“Staff are currently based in several different locations,” said Joost, adding that they would be moving into permanent offices in February. “In the meantime, there are clear governance guidelines in place to ensure that the team can operate entirely independently from any other entity where they may be situated.”

The UAE has said this year’s climate change conference, during which representatives from across the world will travel to Dubai to assess progress in tackling the climate emergency, will be an “inclusive Cop which brings all perspectives to the table”. The UAE has invested heavily in renewable energy but has continued to increase oil production.

Adnoc has also sought to bring on board someone with experience in international climate talks to help with “diplomatic engagement” during the conference, according to a job description seen by CCR and the Guardian. On a document headed with the Adnoc logo, the job description said the candidate would “liaise between Cop28 office and relevant UAE embassies abroad”.

One person approached for the job claimed they were told by the recruiter that Adnoc was involved in hiring for the position, even though the role appears to be entirely focused on Cop28. The recruiter also reportedly said the oil company was in the process of hiring about 100 climate policy staffers ahead of the conference.

Joost would not say whether the “diplomatic engagement” position would be part of the UAE climate change special envoy, saying he “would not comment on specific roles”.

“The aim is to bring together a team with the best possible skills and experience to allow Cop28 to deliver on all of its objectives,” he said.

The US senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who co-signed the letter to Kerry last week, said: “Time is getting short to solve the climate crisis and Cop is the only venue for finding international agreement on how to get it done. These conversations need to happen free from the malign influence of the fossil fuel industry.”

Shortly after Jaber was announced as the Cop28 president last month, the US public relations agency Edelman emailed scores of journalists touting the UAE’s investment in renewable energy. “Last year, we made a commitment to be the agency of choice for organisations dedicated to climate action,” said Michael Bush, a spokesperson for Edelman. Bush said the agency had been hired to work on Cop28 through its engagement with the Emirati renewable energy company Masdar.

Masdar is owned by Adnoc, another state-owned fossil fuel company called Taqa and an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund. Edelman has not disclosed how much it is being paid for the work.


The former UK prime minister Tony Blair was another source of praise for Jaber’s appointment. Blair has previously worked on behalf of the UAE, and a number of staff at his government advisory non-profit, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, are based in the country. Blair also gave the keynote speech at Adnoc’s investor forum in 2019.

Julie Crowley, a spokesperson for the institute, told CCR Blair was not paid for the appearance and that he has no role with Adnoc. She did not answer questions about whether Blair or his organisation had any current contracts with the UAE government and if it was formally involved in Cop28.

“This is a pivotal year in the fight against climate change and we will continue to support the drive towards energy transition and the practical measures necessary to meet the Paris targets, however we can,” she said.
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