US, EU lawmakers demand removal of oil executive heading climate talks

(EurActiv, 24 May 2023) More than 100 members of the US Congress and the European Parliament called Tuesday (23 May) for the removal of an oil industry executive tapped to lead the next UN climate change conference.

The choice of Sultan Al Jaber, chief executive of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, to head December’s COP28 summit in Dubai has angered activists who fear it will hold back progress on reducing emissions.

The lawmakers expressed “profound concern” over the appointment in a letter to US President Joe Biden, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

“The decision to name as president of COP28 the chief executive of one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies—a company that has recently announced plans to add 7.6 billion barrels of oil to its production in the coming years, representing the fifth largest increase in the world— risks undermining the negotiations”, the lawmakers write, adding “With common-sense reforms to help restore public faith in the COP process severely jeopardized by having an oil company executive at the helm, we respectfully submit that different leadership is necessary to help ensure that COP28 is a serious and productive climate summit”.

They urged the leaders to “limit the influence of polluting industries” at gatherings of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

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EurActiv, 24 May 2023: US, EU lawmakers demand removal of oil executive heading climate talks