UAE's COP28 Hostship: A Conference At Risk Of Failure

UAE’s COP28 Hostship: A Conference At Risk Of Failure

One of the most influential climate conferences, COP28, will be held in Dubai starting on 30 November. Different World leaders and ministers from various countries attended this conference. The conflict surrounds Sultan Al Jaber and the UAE because of its high oil production agenda. The main agenda of the summit is to discuss the climate crisis and take steps towards phasing out fossil fuels. However, we all know that Sultan Al Jaber is also the CEO of ADNOC. So, critics argue that the CEO of an oil company led the conference successfully? The appointment of Sultan Al Jaber is a sign of the failure of COP28.

The summit, commencing this Thursday, is slated to host prominent figures such as UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf, and an opening speech by King Charles. Despite the grandeur of the event, a shadow looms over the UAE’s credibility as a host country due to its significant contributions to global oil and gas production. This raises questions about the nation’s commitment to combating climate change, especially as it has faced accusations of prioritizing economic interests over environmental concerns.

Critics, including climate activist Greta Thunberg, have not minced their words in expressing their discontent. Thunberg labeled the situation as “completely ridiculous,” drawing attention to the inherent conflict of interest in having Sultan Al Jaber, an important person in the UAE’s oil industry, lead the conference that is related to climate change. Furthermore, the UAE’s plans to enhance its oil production also opened the eyes of criticism. This oil-production country can never be serious about the success of COP28. It is essential for the success of COP28 that the UAE take serious action to reduce its oil production. 

As discussions unfold at COP28, one cannot ignore the risk that media and civil society coverage may shift focus from the summit’s intended purpose to critical scrutiny of the UAE’s role. The planned expansion of the UAE’s oil production capacity could cast the country as part of the problem rather than a proactive participant in finding climate solutions. The dual identity of Sultan Al Jaber as both a government representative and a leader in the oil industry raises questions about the sincerity of the UAE’s commitment to transitioning towards sustainable energy sources.

Furthermore, we all are familiar with the human rights violations of the United Arab Emirates. There are growing concerns that the UAE’s presence at COP28 may inadvertently legitimize and encourage its questionable human rights record. Critics argue that participating in the summit provides the UAE a platform to present itself as a responsible global actor while diverting attention from its internal issues. The international community must grapple with the ethical dilemma of engaging with a country that simultaneously expands its oil production and faces accusations of human rights violations.

The debate intensifies as COP28 unfolds, with environmental advocates cautioning against turning a blind eye to the UAE’s actions. A country whose interests align with increased oil production significantly beyond 2027 faces skepticism regarding its ability to successfully host a summit dedicated to addressing the climate crisis. Hosting such a significant event while pursuing policies contributing to environmental degradation sends mixed signals about the UAE’s true commitment to sustainable and eco-friendly practices.

In the face of these concerns, it becomes crucial for world leaders and participants to deliberate on the implications of attending COP28 in the UAE. The potential consequences of lending legitimacy to a nation with conflicting interests and actions must be carefully considered. As the summit progresses, participants must ask themselves whether their presence is inadvertently endorsing a host country that prioritizes economic gains over environmental responsibility.

Final Words

In conclusion, the controversies surrounding COP28, the UAE, and Sultan Al Jaber raise profound questions about the summit’s legitimacy and the sincerity of the host country in addressing climate change. The risk of providing a platform for greenwashing and diverting attention from pressing issues like human rights violations and increased oil production cannot be overlooked. As world leaders deliberate over the next fortnight, the international community must remain vigilant in holding the UAE accountable for its actions and ensure that the summit serves its intended purpose of advancing global efforts to combat climate change.