‘UAE planned to use COP28 to advance oil and gas deals’

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London/Dubai: The UAE plans to exploit meetings with foreign governments set to strike fossil fuel deals as a result of its COP28 hosting role, according to leaked documents obtained by the BBC.

The Chevron Richmond Refinery in this view from Point Richmond, California. (AP)

The leaked summary notes, obtained by journalists at the Center for Climate Reporting (CCR) in partnership with the British Broadcasting Corporation, were prepared by the United Arab Emirates’ COP28 team for the conference’s president, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, ahead of meetings with foreign governments between July and October this year.

The CCR said it was working with the BBC to verify the authenticity of the documents, which it said were leaked anonymously for fear of retaliation. He published a part of the documents – 46 out of 150 pages.

In leaked “discussion points” for the meeting with China, ADNOC said the UAE oil company is willing to “jointly assess international LNG (liquefied natural gas) opportunities” in Mozambique, Canada and Australia.

Briefing notes prepared for meetings with Colombia, Germany and Egypt indicated that ADNOC “stands ready” to support each country’s fossil fuel projects.

ADNOC also wants Brazil’s help in a non-binding offer with private equity firm Apollo to acquire a controlling stake in petrochemical producer Braxem.

“It is important for us to confirm the agreement at the highest level,” the documents said on a page set to be discussed with Brazil’s Environment Minister Marina Silva.

“There are many connections between the United Arab Emirates and Brazil – both countries are looking to responsibly exploit their hydrocarbon resources,” said another section.

The documents show that the UAE has drawn up talks with 20 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, on business opportunities for the state-run renewable energy company Masdar.

COP28 President Al Jaber is CEO of ADNOC and Masdar.

A COP28 spokesman told AFP that the documents cited by the BBC were “false and not used at COP28 meetings.” It is very sad to see the BBC using unverified documents in their reporting.

The UN climate change agreement, which is responsible for the COP28 summit, which starts on Thursday, told the BBC that a “cardinal principle” for the hosts is the “obligation of neutrality”.

Climate activists are concerned about the impact of fossil fuels at the talks in Dubai, citing Jaber’s role as head of the oil company.

In an interview with AFP on Saturday, Jaber defended heavy-emitting industries, including the oil and gas sector.

“Everybody has to be part of this process and everybody has to take responsibility and everybody has to be held accountable,” he said.

Jaber presents himself as a mediator between both sides of the fossil fuel divide, with a healthy desire to include the oil and gas industry in the climate debate.

COP28, which runs until December 12, will be attended by 167 world leaders, including King Charles III and Pope Francis.

The climate conference in 2010 It will be the first global assessment of progress since the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global warming to below 2°C, a target of 1.5°C.

Climate scientists say meeting the goal depends on fossil fuels.



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