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“Conflict of Interest”: CEO of Emirati Oil Company Under Fire Over COP28 Presidency

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FILE PHOTO: An Emirati man is seen near the logo of ADNOC in Ruwais, United Arab Emirates May 14, 2018. Picture taken May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Christopher Pike/File Photo

BNR – A new assessment revealed that the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Adnoc, will release over 11bln tonnes of greenhouse gases. The COP28 president heads the oil company, which has plans underway to release as much greenhouse gases (GHGs) as China does yearly until 2050.

The international NGO, Global Witness, conducted the assessment based on information they obtained from Rystad Energy.

The selection of the company’s CEO Sultan Al Jaber to the presidency of the United Nations climate change conference (COP28) has been condemned. However, high-ranking officials in the United States envoy, including John Kerry, have expressed endorsement.

On Friday, Al Jaber urged authorities and firms to decrease GHGs emissions in all areas and fields. He said the move is necessary to minimise global warming and prevent it from going above 1.5 Celsius by 2030.

The world must attack “all emissions, everywhere,” he said in Brussels while addressing lawmakers from China, Canada, and Europe. Al Jaber specifically focused on Scope 3 emissions.

Controversy Surrounds COP28 Presidency

The international NGO Global Witness confirmed that Adnoc plans an output increase of 1.25bln oil barrels by 2030. The oil firm is going to increase production by about 42%. Furthermore, the NGO’s assessment highlights that Adnoc seeks to produce well over 28bln oil barrels by 2050.

The plan warns of widescale pollution as the oil produced will result in the emission of 11.3bln tonnes of CO2e. CO2e (CO2 equivalent) is a mix of CO2 and other GHGs. On the other hand, China, which tops the list in pollution, released 12.4bln tonnes of CO2e in 2021 alone. Information for 2022 and 2023 is unavailable.

Alice Harrison, Global Witness’ campaign head, said that “Sultan Al Jaber is the boss of one of the world’s biggest fossil fuel firms and is overseeing a massive ramp-up in its oil and gas production.”

She also condemned the decision to make Al Jaber the president of an international conference that deals with climate change. “The absurdity of this would be laughable,” Harrison remarked, “if it wasn’t deadly serious.”

Abu Dhabi Oil Company: Global Witness Calls for Accountability

Harrison called for the immediate removal of Adnoc’s CEO from the presidency of COP28, asserting that his work is clearly in conflict with the objectives of the conference.

The call occurs as Global Witness urges the United Nations to establish a policy of conflict of interest in the conference. The policy, according to the NGO, could limit the influence of fossil fuel firms in global climate efforts.

The oil behemoth stated that it has plans to achieve net-zero emissions by no later than 2050. However, the underway strategy does not encompass Scope 3 gas releases, which make up most of fossil fuel lifecycle emissions.

Furthermore, the firm intends to establish a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCUS) capacity of 5mln tonnes yearly by 2030.

However, Global Witness stated that the company’s oil output in 2030 will cause the emission of half a billion tonnes of CO2e. This mark is close to 100X the amount the company can absorb and isolate.


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