Cop28 president’s company explored dropping ‘oil’ from its name

Cop28 president’s company explored dropping ‘oil’ from its name

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company voiced concern about ‘potential criticism’ in green rebranding brief to ad agencies

A Middle Eastern oil company led by the man chairing this year’s UN climate summit considered dropping “oil” from its name in green rebranding attempt.

Leaked documents reveal that executives at the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company made the suggestion in a brief to advertising agencies. Adnoc’s chief executive is Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, president of this year’s Cop28 climate conference.

Jaber’s appointment chairing the international climate negotiations in the United Arab Emirates in November prompted criticism from environmentalists.

He is leading a $150 billion expansion of oil and gas production at Adnoc. But the company wants to promote itself as a provider of “low carbon energy”, according to the documents seen by The Times and obtained by the Centre for Climate Reporting.

The materials reveal the firm sees its public image as vulnerable in the run-up to the Cop28 meeting. The EU wants the conference to agree on the phasing out of fossil fuels and a massive expansion of renewable energy.

The “national oil company” part of Adnoc’s name made it a “target for potential criticism”, according to one of the company’s presentations shared with ad agencies last year. “We are increasingly aware of the reputational challenges posed by our brand name and positioning,” executives wrote.

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