Cop28 president-designate hits back at critics even as his company increases oil drilling investments

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THE Emirati president-designate for the upcoming United Nations Cop28 climate conference hit back on Saturday at critics of his appointment, even as the firm he leads increases investment in fossil fuel extraction.

Climate activists have roundly criticised Sultan al-Jaber’s appointment as the president-designate of the talks because he serves as the CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.

But Mr Jaber dismissed the critics as people who “just go on the attack without knowing anything, without knowing who we are.”

Speaking to an audience in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, Mr Jaber pointed to his 20 years of work on renewable energy as a sign that he and the Emirates represent the best chance to reach a consensus to address climate change worldwide.

Although Mr Jaber, a trusted confidant of UAE leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, has been behind tens of billions of dollars spent or pledged toward renewable energy, he also leads an oil company that extracts some four million barrels of crude every day.

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