QUITO, Ecuador / LA PAZ, Bolivia, Feb 27 (IPS) – The CEO of the twelfth largest oil producer – Sultan Al Jaber of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) – has been designated as President of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP28the largest climate conference that will take place in November 2023 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In short, the leadership of a climate conference that should deliver on ways to create a fossil-free future is in the hands of the representative of one of the top 15 companies most responsible for carbon dioxide emissions globally. Like all other oil companies, ADNOC’s raison d’être is to profit from the very product that has sent global greenhouse gas emissions soaring and spurred a global climate emergency.
In fact, ADNOC Drilling under ADNOC Groups reported one 33 percent increase in 2022 net profit with a forecast of record net profit in 2023 driven by further oil and gas expansion plans. And now at least 12 employees at ADNOC have been given organizing roles for COP28. This means that this year the global climate negotiations will literally be driven by the fossil fuel industry.
Violent criticism has arisen from around the world and in particular from climate activists who have long fought for a fossil fuel-free climate COP. In reaction to this appointment, more than 450 climate and human rights organizations wrote a letter to UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, condemning the appointment of Al Jaber as COP28 president.
The flimsy argument presented for the appointment of Al Jaber is his involvement in renewable energy sources as chairman of Masdar, a “clean energy innovator” investing in renewable energy. But that in itself cannot be compared to the evidence of the fossil industry’s negative role and powerful influence in the climate negotiations.
The fossil fuel industry has completely co-opted climate policy from the inside out. The most offensive illustration of this collusion and corporate capture of climate negotiations is the current reality that someone like Al Jaber will preside over a crucial session of climate negotiations at such a time when the complete and just phase-out of fossil fuels is crucial and immediate action is required to protect the planet.
And this is not happening for the first time!
More than 630 lobbyists for the fossil fuel industry attended COP27 last year in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt and 18 out of 20 COP27 sponsors were either directly partnered with or linked to the fossil fuel industry.
This ongoing 30-year experiment in allowing the biggest polluters, their financiers and polluting governments to undermine a meaningful global response to climate change has produced predictably poor and unacceptable results.
Several reports last year included this report of the UN Environment Program showed that the world will miss the target set in the Paris Agreement by world leaders to limit global warming below 1.5?.
So, what is the solution?
It is time for international climate policy to finally be protected from polluting interests, which is why many are proposing a concrete draw from other UN precedents to systematically weed out this unnecessary interference.
The UN Secretary-General has recently equated the modus operandi of the fossil fuel industry as “incompatible with human survival,” also agrees that “those responsible must be held accountable.”
A concrete Liability framework should be implemented by the UNFCCC based on other UN precedents to systematically clear away this unnecessary interference.
Parties to the UNFCCC must change the course of the climate talks and give immediate and clear signs of deep structural changes that can lead to a just transition. Governments all over the world should actively protect climate action from being overwritten, undermined and undermined by polluting interests.
Rather, it is (past) time to implement real, proven and people-centered solutions and keep polluting companies responsible for their decades of deception and fraud. These are not new ideas. These are not even radical ideas. They are necessary.
The indigenous peoples, farmers, women and frontline communities who face and suffer the severe consequences of the consequences of climate change, together with the social groups of the world who have a real interest in limiting greenhouse gas emissions, are demanding that policy makers implement the necessary changes to ensure that appropriate action is being taken by the world and governments at COP28 to prevent the collapse of the planet.
If these necessary actions are not corrected and implemented immediately, it is world leaders and decision makers who would be primarily responsible for the collapse of our planet. For us, it is clear that Sultan Al Jaber does not have the moral or ethical justification to lead and deliver at a COP28 that is for the people.
Pablo Fajardo Mendoza is with the Union of People Affected by Chevron-Texaco (UDAPT); and Gadir Lavadenz is Global Coordinator, Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice
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© Inter Press Service (2023) — All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service