AP – Hundreds of climate and environmental groups from around the world released a letter on Thursday that decried the nomination of an oil executive to oversee the United Nations (UN) climate negotiations at COP28 this year.
Earlier this month, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), host of the UN climate talks this year, named Sultan al-Jaber to the presidency of the conference from November 30 to December 12.
The company he runs as chief executive, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co, produces four million barrels of crude oil per day and hopes to expand to five million daily by the end of the decade.
Revenues generated from the sale of that oil are critical to economic health of the UAE, which is among the world’s top 10 oil producers.
Activists said the selection of al-Jaber “threatens the legitimacy and efficacy” of the conference.
“There is no honour in appointing a fossil fuel executive who profits immensely off of fuelling the climate crisis to oversee the global response to climate change,” read the letter to UN officials. The letter goes on to say the nomination of an oil executive to oversee the climate talks exemplifies the influence that fossil fuel companies have over international climate policy.
350.org, Friends of the Earth International and Greenpeace, signed the letter, along with five of the nine coalitions of non-governmental organisations that represent different sectors of the global population at the climate talks.
The groups said leadership of the climate talks must be free of fossil fuel influence.