Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: Report of UAE Goals at COP28 Shows a Failure in Leadership, Need for Higher Standards
Press Statement

STATEMENT: Report of UAE Goals at COP28 Shows a Failure in Leadership, Need for Higher Standards

Washington, D.C. — In documents released by a whistleblower just days ahead of the annual U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP28), it appears that COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber planned to leverage his leadership role to push for oil and gas trade deals with foreign government officials. Early concerns were raised about the suitability of the United Arab Emirates as the COP28 host, both for its human rights record as well as for appointing Al Jaber as president while he continues his role as the CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. In response, Anne Christianson, director of International Climate Policy at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:

This revelation should serve as a wake-up call to U.N. officials and world leaders that there must be higher standards, more oversight, and greater transparency for these critical negotiations. International climate discussions cannot be co-opted by special interests and industry. Climate change is an existential crisis, and there is a limited time frame in which to act. This is a failure in leadership and a willful disregard for the lives and livelihoods of climate-vulnerable communities around the world. A successful COP28 outcome must include an agreement to phase out all fossil fuels while ramping up renewable energy. A COP president who seeks to leverage the role for private gain has lost the social license and political trust necessary to deliver on the ambition the world needs now.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at shananel@americanprogress.org.

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