Kerry says he backs UAE oil company chief as leader of UN climate talks
John Kerry, the U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, said in a new interview that he backs the United Arab Emirates’s appointment of a state-run oil company chief to lead United Nations climate talks in Dubai at the end of this year.
Kerry told The Associated Press on Sunday that Sultan al-Jaber, the head of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., is a “terrific choice” to preside over the talks, despite criticism from activists who say al-Jaber has an overpowering conflict of interest since his company pumps millions of barrels of crude oil each day.
“I think that Dr. Sultan al-Jaber is a terrific choice because he is the head of the company. That company knows it needs to transition … He knows — and the leadership of the UAE is committed to transitioning,” the former secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee said.
Kerry highlighted that al-Jaber has been involved in a number of renewable energy projects, and lauded a recent speech given by al-Jaber in Abu Dhabi.
“He made it absolutely clear we’re not moving fast enough. We have to reduce emissions. We have to begin to accelerate this transition significantly,” Kerry said.
The UAE has promised to be carbon neutral by 2050, despite plans to up its output of crude oil.
This year’s Conference of Parties, or COP28, is set to be held in Dubai’s Expo City from Nov. 30-Dec. 12.
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