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At Least a Dozen Employees from UAE Given Roles in Office Hosting Cop28

Certain members of the Cop28 would be working in the same space as the oil company

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Hrishita Chatterjee
Hrishita Chatterjee
Covering culture and trending topics

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: At least 12 employees from the United Arab Emirate’s state-owned oil company have been given office roles at the UAE’s climate change special envoy hosting the 2023 Cop28 UN climate summit.

The news is jittering as questions emerge over the team hosting this year’s summit and the country’s important reserves of the fossil fuels.

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Before taking up roles in the Cop28 team, the officials were working in the UAE’s oil and gas industry according to the Independent Investigative group centre for climate reporting (CCR).

Two former Abu Dhabi oil company engineers are officials who preside over the conference. Media reports, however suggesting that they do not have expertise to acter to a sensitive topic at the international climate diplomacy.

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The conference would be presided over in November by Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber, the chief executive of Adnoc simultaneously continuing his role at the oil company. The US Congressman, Jared Huffman said, “If we don’t make some dramatic changes, Cop28 is going to be the lost climate summit.”

Huffman sent a letter last week to the special presidential envoy for climate, John Kerry to request UAE to oust Jaber from the Cop28 President post, saying, “To believe that all of these fossil fuel personnel and ties do not pose a significant threat to the entire conference is simply stupid.”

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Some records also reveal that certain members of the Cop28 would be working in the same space as the oil company. The United Nations has doubted the UAE delegation about its autonomy from the Adnoc.

“Staff are currently based in a variety of locations,” Joost explained, adding that they will be relocating to permanent headquarters in February.

“In the meanwhile, strong governance principles are in place to ensure that the team may work completely independently of any other business where they may be located,” he added.

US senator, Sheldon Whitehouse who backed Kerry by signing his letter last week said, “Time is getting short to solve the climate crisis and Cop is the only venue for finding international agreement on how to get it done. These conversations need to happen free from the malign influence of the fossil fuel industry.”

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