COP28 Advisory Board Member Resigns Over Reports UAE Used Climate Talks To Push Fossil Fuelsthedigitalchaps



The Marshall Islands’ representative to COP28’s advisory board resigned in protest over reports that the UAE—which is hosting this year’s climate conference—used the talks to pursue oil and natural gas deals.

Key Facts

Hilda Heine, the former president of the Marshall Islands, resigned from the COP28 advisory board in protest over reports that the summit’s president used the climate conference to pursue fossil fuel deals.

Sultan Al Jaber, the current president-delegate of COP28, also serves as CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and as the chairman of the UAE’s state-owned renewable energy company Masdar.

The leaked documents appear to show the Emirati businessman discussing liquefied natural gas deals with China, a petrochemical deal with Egypt, and offers to develop natural gas in Venezuela.

Al Jaber denied the report and called the allegations “false, not true, incorrect and not accurate,” but the BBC stood by their reporting.

Crucial Quote

“These actions undermine the integrity of the COP presidency and the process as a whole,” Heine wrote in a resignation letter obtained by Reuters. She called the UAE’s conduct “deeply disappointing.”

Key Background

COP28 is the United Nations Climate Conference, held annually since 1995. This year’s conference has been marred by controversy after Al Jaber was chosen as president-delegate in January. During his opening address to the conference, Al Jaber did not call for a phase out of fossil fuels, instead asking delegates to “be flexible, find common ground.” However, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres rebuked Al Jaber in an address to the conference the very next day. “The science is clear: the 1.5-degree limit is only possible if we ultimately stop burning all fossil fuels. Not reduce. Not abate. Phaseout – with a clear timeframe aligned with 1.5 degrees,” Guterres said on Friday.

Surprising Fact

For the Marshall Islands, a small island nation in the Pacific, climate change poses an existential threat. According to a study published by the World Bank in 2021, nearly 40% of all buildings in the nation’s capital of Majuro would be permanently flooded if sea levels continue rising at their projected rate. Majuro is home to about 54% of the population of the Marshall Islands.

Further Reading

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