The United Arab Emirates strategically aimed to leverage its position as the host of the largest and most significant annual climate conference, intending to utilize this platform for advocating and negotiating oil and gas deals with foreign government officials. This information has come to light through a collection of internal documents acquired by a non-profit investigative journalism organization.

The exposed documents reveal that Sultan al-Jaber, who holds the dual roles of COP28 president-designate and chief executive of the state oil giant ADNOC (Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.), has strategically outlined discussions on fossil fuel agreements with representatives from 15 countries at the upcoming climate conference.

Oil and Gas Deals

It is noteworthy that Al-Jaber, who has sparked controversy due to his dual roles, was also the founding CEO of Masdar, the state-owned renewable energy company based in Abu Dhabi.


  • The United Arab Emirates allegedly intended to leverage its hosting of the largest annual climate conference to engage foreign government officials for oil and gas deals.
  • The leaked documents, released on Monday, originated from the collaboration between the Centre for Climate Reporting and the BBC.
  • COP28 is scheduled to take place in Dubai, anticipating the participation of numerous world leaders and government ministers from nearly 200 countries, along with an estimated 70,000 delegates.

Leaked Documents Reveal Fossil Fuel Agenda

The Center for Climate Reporting (CCR), in partnership with the BBC, published documents on Monday shedding light on controversial plans related to the upcoming climate conference. Verified for accuracy by CCR through an undisclosed whistleblower, these documents expose discussions led by Sultan al-Jaber, who held key roles in both COP28 and ADNOC (Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.). Notably, CCR, backed by organizations like Greenpeace and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, played a pivotal role in bringing this information to the public eye.

“The documents mentioned in the BBC article are not accurate and were not used during COP28 meetings. It is highly disheartening to observe the BBC relying on unverified documents in their reporting,” stated a spokesperson for COP28.

When approached by CNBC, a spokesperson for ADNOC was not immediately available for comment, while Masdar opted to refrain from providing any comments. The documents in question reportedly consist of briefing notes prepared by the UAE’s COP28 team for engagements with nearly 30 foreign governments in anticipation of the summit. The summit is set to commence on Thursday and is slated to continue until December 12.

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UAE’s Objectives and Global Climate Summit Overview

Proposed talking points for al-Jaber include the UAE’s aim to exit the Brazilian “tax haven” list for enhanced Masdar investments, considerations for a potential liquefied natural gas deal with China, and ADNOC’s readiness to support petrochemical supply to Egypt. COP28, the United Nations’ forthcoming global climate talks, is a two-week summit to be held in Dubai, hosting numerous world leaders, government ministers, and around 70,000 delegates from nearly 200 countries.

Seen as a crucial moment to expedite efforts in combating the climate crisis, this occasion comes at a juncture when global temperatures are reaching unprecedented highs, and the impact of extreme weather events is being felt globally.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has not yet responded to CNBC’s request for comments regarding the leaked documents. The Conference of the Parties (COP) stands as the highest decision-making entity within the UNFCCC.

Amnesty International Urges Resignation for COP28 Success

Amnesty International has reiterated its plea for Sultan al-Jaber to step down from his position at ADNOC, emphasizing that this move is essential for ensuring the effectiveness of the COP28 summit. The human rights group contends that such a separation is necessary to uphold the integrity of the climate conference and avoid potential conflicts of interest.

In response to the leaked documents, Amnesty International’s climate advisor, Ann Harrison, expressed skepticism about Sultan Al Jaber’s leadership in a critical climate summit, stating,

“Sultan Al Jaber claims his insider knowledge of the fossil fuel industry qualifies him to lead a crucial climate summit, but it looks increasingly like a fox is guarding the henhouse.”

Harrison reiterated the validity of Amnesty International’s calls for Sultan Al Jaber to resign from his position at ADNOC if he aspires to lead a successful summit.

“The documents indicating that he received briefings to promote business interests in COP meetings further intensify our apprehensions that COP28 has been fully influenced by the fossil fuel lobby, prioritizing its vested interests, thereby endangering the well-being of humanity as a whole.”

COP28 Chief Al-Jaber pledges responsibility and ambition

In a statement at the beginning of the year confirming his role as the head of COP28, al-Jaber emphasized,

“The UAE is approaching COP28 with a strong sense of responsibility and the highest possible level of ambition.”

This commitment underscores the nation’s dedication to addressing the pressing challenges of climate change with a proactive and ambitious stance.

“He emphasized the need for pragmatism and constructive dialogue to lead our progress,” he added.

During that period, Al-Jaber’s office stated that the minister had actively participated in over 10 COP summits, highlighting his “proactive participatory role.” Al-Jaber brings to his current position two decades of extensive experience in business and leadership, spanning government, climate policy, and the renewable and energy sectors.

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ADNOC and Masdar: Ambitious Green Investments

ADNOC, having advanced its net-zero target to 2045 ahead of its peers, announced in January a substantial commitment of $15 billion for investments in “low-carbon solutions” by 2030. This includes ventures in clean power, carbon capture and storage, and electrification projects.

Simultaneously, Masdar operates in over 40 countries globally and has either invested in or committed to investing in renewable energy projects with a combined value exceeding $30 billion. These initiatives underscore the commitment of both ADNOC and Masdar to drive sustainable and eco-friendly solutions on a significant scale. Source:


Will the UAE Host COP28?

COP28, taking place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), from November 30 to December 12, 2023, stands as a crucial juncture to translate climate commitments into decisive action and mitigate the most severe consequences of climate change.

The UAE holds the presidency for COP28, with Dr. Sultan Al Jaber serving as this year’s president. The conference represents an opportunity for global leaders to collaborate and implement measures that address the urgent challenges posed by climate change.

Where will the UAE Host the Global Climate Summit COP 28 in 2023?

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is set to host the 28th Conference of State Parties (COP28) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Dubai, spanning from November 30 to December 12, 2023.

Which are the Oil and Gas Companies in UAE?

These are the names of companies related to the oil and gas industry:

  • Schlumberger Limited.
  • Al Masaood Oil Industry Supplies & Service Co. LLC.
  • Halliburton Company.
  • China Oilfield Services Limited.
  • Expro Group.
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What is the UAE’s Biggest Oil and Gas Company?

ADNOC (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company) ranks among the world’s largest energy companies, gauged by its substantial reserves and extensive production capabilities. Operating across the full spectrum of the energy production process, ADNOC oversees 16 subsidiary companies engaged in upstream, midstream, and downstream stages of the production chain. The company is actively involved in the development of both onshore and offshore gas fields.

What is the Main Oil Company in Dubai?

The Emirates National Oil Company Group (ENOC) stands as a prominent integrated global player in the oil and gas industry, operating across the entire energy sector value chain. Established in 1993, ENOC is wholly owned by the Government of Dubai, playing a pivotal role in the region’s energy landscape.

What to Expect from COP28 in Dubai?

The UAE presidency has outlined four central themes for the summit, focusing on energy transition, climate finance, climate resilience, and inclusivity. The agenda is anticipated to be dominated by two contentious debates: the gradual phasing out of fossil fuels and the establishment of a Loss and Damage Fund to support economically disadvantaged nations.

What is COP28 UAE and Why is it Important?

The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP28, commences this Thursday in Dubai. Serving as the vanguard for formulating ambitious global policies, the conference aims to facilitate the swift mitigation of rising temperatures on a worldwide scale.

Who can Attend COP28?

Participation in the sessions of the Conferences of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement is restricted to registered representatives of Parties, observer states and approved observer organizations. These conferences are not accessible to the general public.


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