All About COP28: Secret Oil Deals, Climate Controversy, and an Absent Biden, Oh My

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The United Nation’s annual climate conference is scheduled to begin on November 30th and is expected to be a historic event. This year’s climate summit is not without its fair share of controversy, conspiracy, and high stakes. With the global oil market teetering on the edge of an unprecedented change, all eyes are turning to Dubai to witness this critical conference. 

Shale Magazine is ready with all the details, knowledge, and inside scoop on everything COP28. We’ll cover all the happenings, events, and global effects of the 28th annual climate conference. Here’s what you need to know before the meetings begin. 

COP28 In a Nutshell

At the end of November, world leaders of the UN will gather in Dubai to tackle climate change. In this massive gathering, thought leaders will discuss how to limit the impact of climate change and prepare for future measures. 

The summit is set to be held in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates from November 30th to December 12th, 2023. This is the 28th summit put on by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Conference of the Parties to the Convention (COP) has met every year to determine the goals and responsibilities of world leaders to limit climate change. 

Historically, this conference has led to noteworthy agreements, like the Paris Agreement in 2021, and other such significant actions against the impact of rising global temperatures. 

At this year’s summit, climate activists are hoping to advance and uphold the efforts to limit the impact of climate change by regulating emissions across industries. Key topics of the meeting will include:

  • Pressing toward the goals laid out in the Paris Agreement
  • Ramping up the energy transition to cut greenhouse gasses by 2030
  • Distributing funds from wealthier nations to aid poorer countries in making the transition sooner
  • Centering on natural resources and humanity
  • Including more nations and delegates than ever before from diverse sectors

The conference will include themed topic days such as health, finance, food supply, and wilderness. 

Nations from nearly every corner of the globe will be represented at COP28. However, US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are not expected to attend. While both nations will be represented, the absence of the two world leaders has been noticed. 

World leaders that will be attending include the UK prime minister, King Charles of Britain, environmental think tanks, faith-based organizations, and company executives across industries. 

The Dubai Controversy

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is hosting the climate gathering in Dubai, which has been met with mixed reactions from other representatives. 

As one of the leading oil producers, the UAE is seen by many as a major contributor to climate change. The use of oil and other fossil fuels is perceived as a leading cause of CO2 emissions. This correlation between the negative impact on the environment and the UAE’s massive oil production leads many representatives to question the decision to allow them to host this year’s climate summit. 

However, perhaps more divisive than the location is the appointment of Dr. Sultan Al-Jaber as president of the COP28 climate talks. 

Dr. Al-Jaber is the chief executive of the state-owned oil company, Adnoc. Many environmentalists, like Al Gore, reacted in horror to the UNFCCC’s decision, calling the appointment an apparent conflict of interest. 

Dr. Al-Jaber argues that he is uniquely positioned to push for action with influence on both sides of the climate argument. While his appointment as COP28 President triggered mixed responses, there is still hope that an agreeable outcome will stem from the gathering. 

The Man In The Middle

While Al-Jaber has been fought against throughout his appointment as COP28 president, he maintains his eagerness to listen, learn, and help in climate efforts. In an interview with The Guardian, Al-Jaber noted he views his role as a testament to inclusivity in climate discussions. 

As an oil leader, Al-Jaber is positioned to hear from both sides of the spectrum and influence to make a significant impact. He further noted, “Not having oil and gas and high-emitting industries on the same table is not the right thing to do. You need to bring them all. We need to reimagine this relationship between producers and consumers. We need this integrated approach.”

Dr. Sultan Al-Jaber finds himself taking on the role of the man in the middle, bridging the gap between consumers and producers. He views his appointment as COP28 president as an opportunity to communicate the UAE’s seriousness in making a difference in the energy transition. However, Al-Jaber’s insistence that he is well-suited for the job may have been undermined by a shocking discovery earlier this week. 

UAE Planned to Use COP28 to Broker Oil Deals

In leaked briefing documents, plans were revealed to discuss fossil fuel deals with 15 nations, including China, Australia, Canada, and Mozambique. This controversial information seems to contradict Al-Jaber’s claims that the UAE is serious about making a positive impact. The leaked documents imply a possible deal with China over liquefied natural gas and insinuate further nations, such as Germany and Egypt. 

The leaked documents indicate meetings with 27 countries to discuss brokering oil deals at the climate conference. Many representatives call this scandal a reason to resign for Dr. Sultan Al-Jaber, citing it as a gross ploy to broker underhanded oil deals.

Attempting to do business deals, particularly oil and gas, during a COP conference could be perceived as a severe breach of the UN’s expectation of their COP president. Many at the UN State, such as the COP president, should be unbiased and act without personal interest in mind. 

A Severe Break with Standard

The leaked documents imply Dr. Sultan Al-Jaber’s actions are both hypocritical and unworthy of his position. UN expert Michael Jacobs claims the hypocrisy is worse than regular business dealings because it actively works against the ambitions of the conference itself.

While the UAE’s COP28 team did not deny the planned meetings, they did decline to comment on them. The incident has led to many questioning the UAE’s motives for hosting the annual climate summit. One has to ask whether Dr. Sultan Al-Jaber’s motives are genuine or a mere front for pushing his gain. 

Some even compare Dr. Sultan Al-Jaber’s actions to the fox guarding the hen house, staging it as equally shameful and despicable. 

The Ultra-High Stakes of COP28

The BBC suggests the crucial topic must be the global temperature increase of 1.5 since the Industrial Revolution. Thus, there is an urgency to act quickly and push for a rapid transition to non-fossil fuels for energy. 

However, within these talks, climate change is not the only thing at stake. Energy sectors, like oil, coal, and others, are on the chopping block due to their environmental impact. While ecological advocates argue fossil fuels are a leading cause of climate change, the world relies on the oil and gas industries to supply reliable power as the world moves towards alternative forms of energy production.

If the COP28 conference furthers the environmentalist agenda to eliminate fossil fuel production, it could lead to disastrous effects on both the global economy and the power grid. 

President Biden’s Notable Absence 

With such high stakes and critical climate decisions being made at this year’s UN climate gathering, the question, “Why is President Joe Biden not attending COP28?” is on everyone’s mind. With over 70,000 delegates slated to attend COP28, President Joe Biden cannot be bothered to participate. 

Senior White House aides hinted that the U.S. president is too busy dealing with the Israeli-Hamas conflict and other major issues to attend the conference at this time. However, one must question whether the president wishes to remove himself from the controversy surrounding this year’s summit. 

The president’s schedule this week includes the annual White House tree lighting ceremony, attending a reception for Kennedy Center honorees, and a meeting with the president of Angola. 

All Eyes are on the UAE

As the COP28 begins shortly, the eyes of the world will be watching closely to see what happens in this historic event. This conference will monumentally impact climate change efforts and potentially change the oil and energy industries for the future.

Environmentalists, politicians, and investors are eager to see how this conference will impact the economy, especially given the surrounding controversy and potential scandal it involves. Just how much transparency can we expect from the COP28 president? Will the representatives agree on how to move forward in the energy transition? What will be the lasting impacts of this year’s climate conference? 

We eagerly await the COP28 conference and report on its impact as it unfolds. 

Say In the Know with Shale

As the COP28 begins, you can rely on Shale Magazine to keep you informed on all the important goings on in the world of oil, energy, and investment. Our team of dedicated reporters has their finger on the pulse to bring you the news and facts others skip over. 

You can rely on our team to bring you insight into the events that matter most to savvy, energy-aware folks like yourself. Subscribe to Shale Magazine to get the latest updates. If you’re on the road, give a listen to our noteworthy podcast, In the Oil Patch


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