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Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in May

Photo: Christian Marquardt / Getty Images

In recent weeks, there had already been doubts about possible conflicts of interest: Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber is not only the host and president of the next UN Climate Change Conference (COP), but also the United Arab Emirates' Minister of Industry and head of the national oil company Adnoc. Now the British »Guardian« reveals that e-mails to and from the office of the next climate summit, COP28, could also be read by Adnoc.

According to the report, the Guardian sent a media request to the COP28 office in May, with the line "Adnoc classification: internal" included in the email responses. When asked about this, the COP28 office replied that several technical experts had been asked for advice on emissions, "including Adnoc", and that the internal classification mark had been part of the email chain.

In response to further inquiries, the COP28 office claimed that its email system was "self-contained" and "separate" from Adnoc's. Now, however, technical expert analyses have shown that the office shared e-mail servers with Adnoc. Several IT security experts confirm this in the report – according to Richard Clayton of the University of Cambridge, for example, the oil company was able to view all e-mails sent from the server of the COP28 office. According to the Guardian's requests, the COP28 office moved to another server on Monday.

This is an "absolute scandal," the report quotes French MEP Manon Aubry. An oil and gas company has found its way into the core of the organization responsible for coordinating the oil and gas phase-out. It's like a multinational tobacco company overseeing the internal workings of the World Health Organization." Aubry, along with other U.S. and EU politicians, recently called for the removal of Al Jaber.