Controversial Appointment: Oil Executive as President of Climate Summit Criticized as a Wolf in a Hen House

Sultan Al Jaber, the CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), has been named as the president of COP28, the most important climate summit, set to take place in Dubai from November 30, 2023. Al Jaber’s appointment as the head of the conference has been met with some criticism, given his position as the leader of a major oil and gas company.

Despite the controversy surrounding his appointment, Al Jaber has pledged to drive faster and more transformative results at COP28, saying “we are way off track.” He also emphasized that energy security and climate action should go hand-in-hand [4][10].

Adnoc is the world’s 12th-largest oil and gas producer, with a daily output of 2.7 million barrels in 2021 [1]. Despite this, Al Jaber has also been a vocal proponent of renewable energy and the need for a “bold and realistic energy transition” [5].

His appointment as the president of COP28 was announced by the United Arab Emirates on January 12, 2023, and has been seen as a signal of the country’s commitment to addressing climate change. Al Jaber has a long career serving as a diplomat, minister, and business leader across the energy and renewables industry [3].

Some climate activists were initially concerned about Al Jaber’s appointment, but he has stated that there is no contradiction in an oil executive running a pivotal climate forum [7]. Instead, he believes that COP28 provides an opportunity for the oil and gas industry to work alongside renewables to achieve a sustainable future.

Al Jaber’s appointment comes at a critical time, as the world faces increasing pressure to take action on climate change. COP28 is expected to be a crucial conference, determining whether the world can get on track to tackle the climate crisis [4]. While his appointment has been met with some criticism, Al Jaber’s position as a leader in both the oil and gas and renewable energy industries could offer a unique perspective and opportunity to bridge the gap between the two sectors and find a sustainable path forward.

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