The upcoming COP28 climate summit, hosted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has sparked a wave of controversy. The BBC recently uncovered leaked documents indicating the UAE's plans to negotiate oil and gas deals with 15 nations during the summit, which seems at odds with the summit's climate goals.
These documents, sourced by independent journalists and the BBC, suggest that the UAE, a major oil producer, had prepared to leverage its hosting role to discuss fossil fuel projects with various countries. This includes proposed partnerships with China on liquefied natural gas opportunities and support for Colombia in developing its fossil fuel resources.
The UNFCCC mandates that COP presidents and their teams act without bias or self-interest, ensuring their personal views don't compromise their roles. The leaked documents and the UAE's response have led to concerns about potential conflicts of interest, especially since the COP28 president, Dr. Sultan al-Jaber, is also the CEO of the UAE's state oil company, Adnoc.
As the world looks towards COP28 to address urgent climate issues, including the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C, the UAE's dual role as a summit host and a major player in the oil industry poses a significant challenge. The outcome of the summit and how these revelations impact global climate negotiations remain to be seen, with the world watching closely.