Even the greatest magicians usually limit themselves to performing one illusion at a time. In a show starting on November 30th and running for two weeks, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will create a double illusion and have the entire world as its audience. In hosting the annual Conference of the Parties (COP) 28 of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, the UAE will present itself as a champion for green energy and a modern society.
Like all magic shows, there will be a lot of smoke and mirrors, and a façade to direct attention away from reality. For COP28, hidden from public view will be UAE’s determination to remain a major exporter of oil and its record of human rights violations.
Then come the side shows. The swarm of 600 fossil-fuel lobbyists that blanketed last year’s COP27 in Egypt is expected to be dwarfed in volume by this year’s descent onto Dubai. Outside the conference rooms and meetings halls will be displays and presentation areas that can be best described as an upscale information bazaar. Their displays will be professionally designed to conceal the contradictions of the corporations and countries they represent.
UAE is off to a bad start in trying to present itself as part of the solution to climate change. As host country, it picked UAE’s Minister of Industry and Technology Dr. Sultan al Jaber as COP28’s president. Here begins the first façade. Dr. al Jaber is also the head of the state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. Appointing the head of one of the world’s major exporters of oil as the COP28 president reduces the credibility of the event and allows al Jaber to be the ringmaster at the circus.
Read more: townhall.com