An Open Letter by Editor [Why You Should Boycott COP28 UAE?]

Dear Respected Reader,

As we approach COP28, it is important to consider the gravity of the upcoming event and the responsibility that lies in the hands of all participating parties. As such, I urge you to Boycott COP28 UAE considering the facts such as the current state of affairs in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the highly controversial appointment of a state-run oil company chief to lead United Nations climate talks in Dubai this year.

First and foremost, it is essential to note the appointment of Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, an oilman, with a chemical engineering background as the president-elect of COP28. This decision seems highly contradictory to the goals and principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, as the UAE’s president-elect, who is also the CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), will be presiding over a conference that aims to combat climate change while simultaneously leading one of the biggest oil companies in the Middle East.

Furthermore, this appointment has sparked concern 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.

The controversial appointment is also criticized by Tasneem Essop, currently the Executive Director of Climate Action Network, who has stated that “This is tantamount to a full-scale capture of the UN climate talks by a petrostate national oil company & its associated fossil fuel lobbyists.”

In addition to the controversial appointment of the president-elect, it is also worth noting the UAE’s history of human rights violations. The country has a notorious track record of imprisoning human rights defenders and activists, with several high-profile cases, including the 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.

Ilhan Abdullahi Omar, U.S Representative for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district has also lashed out at UAE’s war crimes stating ‘….the UAE have repeatedly and intentionally killed civilians in Yemen. This is a war crime’. Check her video tweet here:

It is also worth noting that 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.

In conclusion, I urge you to consider the issues raised above and reflect on the true intentions of the UAE’s COP28 presidency. It is essential that we work towards a sustainable future and combat the very real threat of climate change, but we must do so in a way that is fair, just, and equitable.

The appointment of an oilman as the president-elect of COP28 and the UAE’s history of human rights violations and involvement in war crimes and terrorism financing raises concerns about the legitimacy of the talks and the true intentions of the UAE.

As such, I urge you to consider boycotting COP28 and sending a strong message that we will not stand for a conference that is seemingly captured by the interests of a petrostate national oil company and its associated fossil fuel lobbyists.


Join Our Campaign To Send A Strong Message to UAE