The United Arab Emirates has appointed a seasoned technocrat to preside over the next United Nations climate discussions in Dubai. This person supervises Abu Dhabi’s state-run oil firm and its renewable energy initiatives.
Sultan al-Jaber, the CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. and a close friend of UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was selected by Emirati authorities on Thursday.
His company now pumps around 4 million barrels of oil per day and plans to increase that to 5 million, producing more of the carbon dioxide that traps heat that the UN’s yearly climate conferences want to curb.
The statement was made by the state-run WAM news agency of the United Arab Emirates, which noted al-prior Jaber’s experience as a climate envoy.
Al-Jaber was reported by WAM as stating that “this will be a pivotal year in a critical decade for climate action.” The UAE is approaching COP28 with the greatest degree of ambition and a strong sense of responsibility.
He said, “We will provide a pragmatic, grounded, and solutions-focused approach that produces dramatic gains for the environment and for low-carbon economic development.
According to WAM’s statement regarding al-Jaber, the Emirates have spent “more than $50 billion in renewable energy projects across 70 countries, with plans to spend at least $50 billion over the next ten years.” It wasn’t immediately obvious how those numbers were calculated.
Jaber oversaw other environmental projects, such as a $22 billion “carbon-neutral” metropolis on the fringes of Abu Dhabi. After the global financial crisis, which began to severely affect the Emirates in 2008, the project was put on hold.
He is the chairman of Masdar, a sustainable energy business that emerged from the initiative and today has operations in more than 40 nations.