UAE COP28 guest list led by bankers, lobbyists — and housekeeping

UAE COP28 guest list led by bankers, lobbyists — and housekeeping

Total attendance at climate change conference in Dubai is estimated at about 80,000.

The UAE host of COP28 has given access to hundreds of bankers, consultants and lobbyists — and 20 housekeepers — at the event where oil and gas executives such as ExxonMobil chief executive Darren Woods will rub up against almost 200 government delegations shaping global climate policy.

The UAE presidency invited more than 9,000 to the formal business area in the “blue zone”, including about 5,000 guests outside of its own extended delegation, based on Financial Times analysis of a provisional UN list of attendees. Total attendance in Dubai is unconfirmed but estimated at about 80,000, based on the list.

The roster of chief executives on the UAE guest list included interim BP chief executive Murray Auchincloss, BlackRock’s Larry Fink, commodity trading group Trafigura’s Jeremy Weir and Brookfield Asset Management’s Connor Teskey. BlackRock and Brookfield were involved in the $30bn fund launched by the UAE on Friday to invest in climate-related projects.

Bankers were one of the most represented professions among badge holders invited by the UAE, as climate finance moves to the forefront. HSBC’s Noel Quinn arrived on the first day, with more than two dozen staff from various entities attending as part of the UAE group and another 46 invited by other Asian nation delegations.

HSBC said it had “participated in previous COPs and will engage at COP28 in support of the ambition to drive climate action and contribute to the efforts to finance the net zero transition”. Citigroup listed 26 staff, with Bank of America sending 18 as UAE guests, with its presence led by chief executive Brian Moynihan. JPMorgan had a dozen staff. Standard Chartered chief executive Bill Winters and Deutsche Bank’s Christian Sewing and Lazard’s Peter Orszag were among the other prominent bankers to make the UAE list.

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