COP28 president accused of trying to make deals in fossil fuels

A few days before the opening of COP28 in the United Arab Emirates, the president of this summit, Sultan al-Jaber, is under fire from an investigation by our colleagues at the BBC. They say they have been able to consult documents that show that the latter, who is also the head of the oil company Adnoc, wanted to use his role at the COP to conclude deals in fossil fuels. These revelations are a stain, while the exit from fossil fuels is one of the topics of the summit.

Sultan al-Jaber, president of COP28 in the United Arab Emirates, pictured in Dubai, September 19, 2023. AP - Kamran Jebreili

By: RFI Follow


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The lengthy investigation published by the BBC is based on documents collected by independent journalists, members of the Center for Climate Reporting, which were leaked thanks to a whistleblower who remained anonymous for fear of reprisals.

The documents were reportedly prepared by members of the UAE team for COP28, to arrange meetings with at least 27 foreign governments ahead of the summit.

Among these countries: China, which, according to one of the documents, could be a potential partner for the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), around opportunities on liquefied natural gas in Mozambique, Canada or Australia.

In another document, it is suggested to a Colombian minister that Adnoc stands ready to help the country develop its fossil fuel resources. Other equivalent notes concern Egypt and Germany.

A spokesperson for COP28 countered that the documents referred to in the BBC article were inaccurate and had not been used by COP28 in meetings. As for the UAE team, they simply replied that private meetings were private.

Listen alsoWhat is the "global stocktake" at the centre of COP28?

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