COP28 Off to a Controversial Start.
The United Arab Emirates will host next year’s COP28.
While opinions vary on the success of COP and what can really be achieved, it is nonetheless an opportunity to get the public and private sectors around a table to make true commitments for a more sustainable global economy and society.
CONTROVERSY IN DUBAI
The conference will take place in November 2023 and eyes are already on the UAE’s planning. A controversial announcement was made last week, appointing Sultan al-Jaber, chief executive of state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company as President of the COP.
This week, Sultan al-Jaber is making headlines again as he calls for a three-fold increase in renewable energy generation by 2030. When it comes to oil and gas, he maintains that the focus should be on prioritising the “least carbon intensive producers”.
GREENWASHING OR NOT?
While this all sounds good, the conflict of interest involved in having an oil and gas executive at the head of a conference aimed at reducing our reliance on fossil fuels is glaring.
Only time will tell to what extent, but it is clear that all communication from the COP28 organisers will need to be reviewed with a greenwashing lens. Most importantly, we can only hope that the controversy surrounding the conference will remain limited and focus rests on the true problem at hand…the climate crisis!