A hundred elected officials from the U.S. Congress and the European Parliament called on Tuesday for the withdrawal of the nomination of a boss from the oil industry to preside over the next COP28 in Dubai.
“We urge you to put pressure on the United Arab Emirates to renounce the appointment of Sultan al-Jaber,” they wrote, expressing their “deep concern”. The letter is addressed to US President Joe Biden, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of the UN Climate, is also a recipient. The nomination of this 40-year-old, Emirati Minister of Industry and boss of the oil giant ADNOC, to preside over the UN climate conference scheduled for the end of 2023 had already been strongly criticized in January by a hundred NGOs.
In their letter, the elected representatives also ask to limit “the influence of polluting industries” in these climate meetings, deploring the prominence of lobbies. “We can’t let special interests create more obstacles in the race against climate change,” Sheldon Whitehouse, one of the most engaged U.S. senators on climate issues, argued on Twitter.
In Brussels, the letter was signed by 99 environmental, left and center-left MEPs. Questioned by AFP in April, Mr. Al-Jaber had defended himself by recalling that he was also the founder of Masdar, the Emirati national giant specialized in renewable energies and he had assured that his country had been working on its energy transition for “more than twenty years”.