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COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber, who is also group CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), denied on Wednesday reports of plans to use the climate summit in Dubai for pushing oil deals.
Al Jaber’s presidency of COP28 has stirred controversy in recent months. He is the first CEO designated to be president of any climate summit so far. But he is also the chief executive of the national oil company of OPEC's third-largest producer, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Earlier this week, the BBC and many other news outlets reported that the UAE planned to use its role as the host of climate talks to forge new oil and gas deals. The BBC cited leaked briefing documents obtained by independent journalists at the Centre for Climate Reporting working alongside the BBC. Those documents were purportedly prepared by the UAE’s COP28 team for meetings with at least 27 foreign governments during the climate summit which Dubai will host from November 30 to December 12.
COP28 UAE said on Wednesday “We are aware of a number of press releases purporting to be issued by COP28 and other entities, relating to the COP President's leadership roles, which have been posted on some digital accounts and issued to members of the media.”
“This press release was not issued by the COP28 team, has no basis in truth, and must be entirely disregarded as fake news,” COP28 UAE added.
“As the COP President said in today's press conference, "It is an attempt to undermine the work of the COP28 Presidency.”
Speaking at a press conference on the eve of the climate summit, Al Jaber told reporters, as carried by CNN,
“These allegations are false, not true, incorrect, and not accurate.”
“I promise you, never ever did I see these talking points that they refer (to), or that I ever even used such talking points in my discussions,” said Jaber.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com