A few minutes every morning is all you need.
Stay up to date on the world's Headlines and Human Stories. It's fun, it's factual, it's fluff-free.
The backstory: Every year, the UN holds a conference on climate change, which is known as the Conference of the Parties, or COP. COP28, which is this year’s conference and the 28th one overall, is being hosted by Dubai. Choosing the UAE to host was pretty controversial since it’s one of the world's biggest oil and gas producers.
More recently: Back in January, the UAE named its pick to lead the climate talks – Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber. This announcement got some pretty heavy criticism since, well, he’s the CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.
To be fair, Jaber has also worked on sustainability projects, like a carbon-neutral city that was never fully realized. He also serves as the chairman of Masdar, a clean energy company he helped create. But a lot of people still see an oil chief heading a climate conference as a pretty big conflict of interest, and these conversations recently sparked up again.
The development: More than 100 US and EU lawmakers wrote in an open letter recently to the leaders of their countries and the UN to say “no” to Jaber leading the summit. The letter was addressed to US President Joe Biden, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UN’s climate chief Simon Stiell. And this isn’t the first time the US and EU have pushed to have him removed – a bunch of US and EU lawmakers earlier this year called for diplomatic pressure to have him ousted. In total, there were 99 EU and 34 US lawmakers that signed this letter.
Despite their pleas, it looks like the summit is going on as planned, as a spokesperson for the event recently made a statement standing behind Jaber, saying his skills and abilities “are assets that will help drive the UAE’s transformative approach to COP28.”
“For billions of people, the outcome of COP28 and following international climate negotiations will make the difference between life and death, chaos and solidarity,” said Manon Aubry, a member of the European Parliament and one of the signatories. “Corporate greed and lobbyists' lies have led us into this climate crisis. We must prevent private interests from interfering in politics and regain ownership of our future.
“We believe that Dr. Sultan’s experience as an engineer, working across the energy spectrum, coupled with his experience as a senior global industry leader, are assets that will help drive the UAE’s transformative approach to COP28,” a spokesperson for the summit said in a statement.