Opinion: We need accountability from oil companies at COP28, not leadership

(The Third Pole, 27 Oct 2023) As the Dubai climate summit approaches, presided over by an oil company CEO, we must take promises of climate leadership from fossil fuel producers with a mountain of salt.

In his masterful polemic, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, the American journalist Anand Giridharadas takes a close look at how charitable giving by billionaires impedes rather than helps reform. His core thesis is simple: by giving (or even merely pledging) large sums of money to find solutions to global problems, the very rich not only gain prestige and tax breaks, but are able to shape the ‘solutions’ such that they avoid holding the wealthy to account.

There is perhaps no clearer example of the farcical idea that the people responsible for a problem should lead the change than that of fossil fuel companies and climate change.

This year’s global climate summit, COP28, will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The COP28 president, Sultan Al Jaber, is also the CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), which according tocampaign group Global Witness is planning to spend more than USD 1 billion per month on oil and gas production this decade. (ADNOC disputes this analysis.)

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The Third Pole, 27 Oct 2023: Opinion: We need accountability from oil companies at COP28, not leadership