More than 130members of Congress and the European Parliament on Tuesday called for the ouster of the oil executive leading the next U.N. Climate Change Conference in the United Arab Emirates this fall.
Tuesday’s letter represents a remarkable rebuke of the decision to name Sultan Al Jaber, who runs the state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, as president of the climate summit. It comes as human rights advocates also voice anger and disbelief over the UAE’s invitation of Syria’s embattled president to the climate talks, known as COP28.
Both climate and human rights activists say the integrity of the climate gatherings are at stake.
“It’s pretty straightforward: The head of a national oil company should not be the president-designate of a climate conference,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), who signed the letter along with 34 other congressional Democrats, said in an interview. “It’s a slap in the face to young climate activists.”
While often mired in controversy, the annual COP negotiations remain the leading global forumfor nations to address climate change, and pressure is mounting on them to deliver on past promises.
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