Boycott COP28: ‘Holding a climate conference in Dubai is absurd and dangerous’

Boycott COP28: 'Holding a climate conference in Dubai is absurd and dangerous'

Boycott COP28: ‘Holding a climate conference in Dubai is absurd and dangerous’. The venue of the 28th edition COP (Conference of the Parties), set to begin on November 30 in Dubai, is a disastrous choice for the fight against climate disruption. We call on public authorities, NGOs, organizations, scientists and business leaders not to support or condone this deceptive event being staged in a country that thrives solely on the extraction of fossil fuels, and whose public roadmap in favor of these energies should give us cause for alarm.

Because, behind the fine “environmental ambitions” announced by the United Arab Emirates, more than anything, the country is the world’s seventh-largest extractor of black gold and the fifth-largest emitter of CO2 on the planet. Abu Dhabi even plans to increase the number of barrels it produces by 25% by 2027! Clearly, the country lives “by and for” oil, and holding a UN climate conference there is not only absurd but dangerous.

Boycott COP28: ‘Holding a climate conference in Dubai is absurd and dangerous’

For some years now, carbon lobbyists have had a stranglehold on the COPs, distilling their language and influencing the debates. Already at the 2022 COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh (Egypt), the presence of 600 fossil fuel lobbyists succeeded in thwarting the most ambitious proposals and preempting any concrete measures.

With this new COP in Dubai, this shift is turning into a farce: the event will be chaired by the CEO of the United Arab Emirates’ largest fossil fuel company – Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber – a few weeks after revelations in the British press that the Emirates have been lying for 10 years about their methane emissions, which allowed them to avoid having to find justifications or alternatives to the use of this greenhouse gas.

We have no illusions: at COP28 in Dubai, the ambitions and objectives will be politely reiterated, but the concrete means of implementation, in particular the massive reduction in fossil fuel consumption, will be muzzled and postponed indefinitely. The deadly COP tradition of inaction will again be perpetuated.

A costly, inefficient and unnecessary meeting

In October 2022, at an international oil trade fair in Abu Dhabi, the president of COP28 pleaded for a climate strategy that would include oil in the decades to come. “The world needs all possible solutions; it’s not oil or gas, solar or wind or nuclear, but all of these at the same time.” The tone is set and the is scenario written: this COP will not be equal to what’s at stake and the imperative emission reduction targets, which will render this costly meeting ineffective and pointless.

Worse still: by organizing such a symposium with this kind of pomp and ceremony in a country that is a champion of carbon emissions, the whole fight against climate change is undermined. How can we convince Western societies to question the way we do things from Dubai? How, from the fifth most involved country in global warming, can we convince the populations of developing countries to review their growth model? It is impossible because it is indecent.

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