UAE's Al-Jaber appointed to lead COP28


30 November 2023 - 12 December 2023


The UAE government said on 12 January that Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) chief executive Sultan Al-Jaber has been appointed president of the 28th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), which is scheduled to be held in Dubai on 30 November-12 December.

The appointment of a major player in the global oil market will undoubtedly further rile climate change advocates – who have already expressed dismay at leading Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) member the UAE playing a pivotal role in the COP process – while Abu Dhabi preferred to focus on Al-Jaber’s credentials in promoting renewable energy. Among his many roles, Al-Jaber is also the UAE’s special envoy for climate change.

Al-Jaber said the UAE was “approaching COP28 with a strong sense of responsibility and the highest possible level of ambition” and would “bring a pragmatic, realistic and solutions-oriented approach.” 

Al-Jaber’s multi-faceted energy roles mean he is key to the UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, remaining the ‘last men standing’ in the global oil industry, while promoting renewable energy in the domestic market and in projecting UAE economic soft power. Al-Jaber launched Abu Dhabi’s clean energy giant Masdar in 2006, but was appointed to head of Adnoc in 2016 and has recently been active in Adnoc’s moves to raise oil output.

He is a close aide of President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and played an important role in MBZ’s first official visit as head of state, when he went to France in July 2022; among the deals struck was a strategic partnership between Adnoc and French major TotalEnergies.

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