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Adnoc chief Sultan Al Jaber named president of Cop28

Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE's minister of industry and advanced technology as well as the group CEO of Adnoc, will preside over Cop28 WAM
Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE's minister of industry and advanced technology as well as the group CEO of Adnoc, will preside over Cop28

Sultan Al Jaber, head of state oil giant Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), has been named president of the Cop28 climate conference, which is being hosted by the UAE later this year.

Al Jaber, who is also the UAE’s minister of industry and advanced technology, has served as special envoy for climate change over two terms since 2010 and has played a proactive role in 10 Cop summits.

As president he is charged with developing the agenda for this year’s Cop28, leading the intergovernmental process, building consensus and driving climate outcomes with a broad range of partners, said a statement from UAE state news agency WAM.

“This will be a critical year in a critical decade for climate action,” he said.

“Pragmatism and constructive dialogue must be at the forefront of our progress. As a nation at the crossroads of the globe, the UAE is well positioned to build bridges, foster consensus and bring the world together in one shared mission to keep 1.5C alive and protect the planet for the generations who will follow us.”

The central objective of the Paris Climate Agreement, written in 2015, is its long-term goal to limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

The statement said Al Jaber will be the first CEO to serve as Cop president. AGBI understands he will continue in his role at Adnoc, in parellel with his new appointment to oversee Cop28.

Some environmental activists are calling for Al Jaber to set aside his role as chief executive at Adnoc while he leads talks but others point to his personal track record in engaging with the climate change challenge, his leadership in renewable energy and zero carbon initiatives as well as the UAE’s significant investment in renewables globally and early support for the Paris agreement.

The UAE will be the second Arab state to host the climate conference after Egypt hosted Cop 27 last year.

“In cooperation with the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) and the Cop27 presidency, we will champion an inclusive agenda that ramps up action on mitigation, encourages a just energy transition that leaves no one behind, ensures substantial, affordable climate finance is directed to the most vulnerable, accelerates funding for adaptation and builds out a robust funding facility to address loss and damage,” Al Jaber said.

The UAE was the first country in the region to ratify the Paris Agreement, the first to commit to an economy-wide reduction in emissions, and the first to announce a “net zero by 2050” strategic initiative.

Home to three of the largest and low-cost solar projects in the world, the UAE has invested more than $50 billion in renewable energy initiatives across 70 countries, with plans to invest a minimum of $50 billion over the next decade.

“I sincerely believe that climate action today is an immense economic opportunity for investment in sustainable growth,” Al Jaber added.

“Finance is the key that can unlock climate action and we are committed to supporting and facilitating the ongoing review of international financial institutions to scale up public financing, leverage private finance and improve access.”

Under Al Jaber’s leadership, Adnoc is investing $15 billion over five years in its decarbonisation strategy and its new low-carbon solutions business.

Cop28 will be held at Expo City, Dubai from November 30 to December 12 2023.