To Ms Yaël Braun-Pivet,
The President of the French National Assembly,
As we approach COP28, we wanted to take a moment to express my concerns regarding the upcoming conference, which is set to take place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In light of recent developments, we strongly urge you to reconsider attending this conference and to join me in boycotting COP28 UAE.
One of the main reasons for our concern is the appointment of Dr. Sultan Al Jaber as the president-elect of COP28. Dr. Al Jaber, an oilman with a chemical engineering background, is also the CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), one of the largest oil companies in the Middle East. This appointment seems highly contradictory to the goals and principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, as it places a leader of a major fossil fuel company in charge of a conference aimed at combating climate change.
This appointment has raised concerns among climate activists, including Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who has criticized the UAE’s appointment as “completely ridiculous.” It is troubling to see a country with such strong ties to the fossil fuel industry leading the charge on climate action, as it raises questions about the legitimacy of the talks and the UAE’s true intentions.
In addition to concerns about the appointment of Dr. Al Jaber, there are also significant human rights concerns in the UAE. The country has a notorious track record of imprisoning human rights defenders and activists, with several high-profile cases, including the case of Human Rights Ahmed Mansoor and case of the UAE94, where a group of 94 lawyers, university lecturers, and students were sentenced to 10 years in prison for plotting to overthrow the government. The United Nations, Human Rights Watch, and other organizations have expressed concern over the mistreatment and torturing of these activists in jail by UAE authorities.
Furthermore, the UAE has also been accused of committing numerous war crimes in Yemen, Syria, and Libya. The country’s involvement in financing terrorist organizations, with individuals like Ali Rashid Al-Nuaimi, a former Brotherhood figure and now disguised as the first chairman of the International Steering Board of Hedayah, has raised alarm bells in the international community. This is particularly concerning as the UAE will be presiding over a climate conference that aims to combat climate change, which is inherently tied to issues of global security and stability.
In January 2020, a UAE drone attack killed 26 unarmed cadets at a military academy in Tripoli, Libya. The attack was carried out using a Chinese Blue Arrow 7 missile fired from a drone called the Wing Loong II, which was only operating from a Libyan air base supplied and operated by the UAE. Despite denying military involvement, new evidence suggests that the UAE used Egyptian military air bases close to the Libyan border to carry out the attack. The families of the victims are still waiting for answers and justice. These gruesome violation of human dignity and life demand the international community to take action and hold the UAE accountable for its actions.
Furthermore, the UAE’s COP28 presidency has been heavily lobbied by UAE lobbyists in the European Parliament and the United Nations. This has raised concerns among climate activists, including Greta Thunberg, who has pointed out the influence of fossil fuel lobbyists on the talks. The UAE’s recent lobbying efforts have also resulted in ADNOC raising $2.5 billion in an IPO ahead of COP28, which has been seen as a move to assert the UAE’s dominance in the fossil fuel industry.
Given these issues, we believe that it is important for leaders around the world to take a stand against the appointment of Dr. Al Jaber as the president-elect of COP28 which has created COP28 Controversy and to boycott the conference in the UAE. By doing so, we can send a strong message to the international community.
Global Concerned Citizens.