A man wearing a traditional Arab robe called a "thawb" is standing at a lectern giving a speech at a conference. Photo: Masdar Corporate/Flickr

Climate: UAE state oil firm’s expansion plans prove CEO is unfit to lead COP28 climate talks

Reacting to record profits and plans to help expand fossil fuel production presented today by ADNOC Drilling, part of the United Arab Emirates state oil company whose chief executive is due to chair the COP28 climate conference in Dubai this year, Amnesty International’s Programme Director for Climate, Economic and Social Justice, and Corporate Accountability Marta Schaaf said:

“Sultan al-Jaber, the chief executive of ADNOC, one of the world’s largest oil and gas producers, plans to increase the group’s production of fossil fuels. This is entirely incompatible with his role as president-designate of COP28.

“Sultan al-Jaber cannot be an honest broker for climate talks when the company he leads is planning to cause more climate damage. It is obvious, despite Sultan al-Jaber’s denials, that his dual role is a glaring conflict of interest which will contribute to further climate disaster and unfolding human rights violations.

“Since he was announced as COP28 president-designate last month, Sultan al-Jaber has said that climate concerns should never compromise economic growth. He has described natural gas – a core part of ADNOC’s expansion plans whose main ingredient is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide – as a critical component in the transition to sustainable energy.

“Following reports that some ADNOC staff have been seconded to the COP28 organizing team, the expansion plans will heighten concerns that this crucial climate conference is being hijacked by the state oil company and will serve wider fossil fuel interests.

We reiterate our call for Sultan al-Jaber to resign from the state oil company and for the UAE’s COP28 leadership team to include the phasing out of fossil fuels among its priorities for the conference.”