As world leaders are meeting to discuss tackling climate change at the 28th annual United Nations summit in Dubai, a leaked briefing documents reveal the host nation plans to discuss fossil fuel deals with 15 nations according to a BBC report.
The UN body responsible for the COP28 summit told the BBC said hosts were expected to act without bias or self-interest.
The UAE team did not deny using COP28 meetings for business talks and said “private meetings are private”.
It declined to comment on what was discussed in the meetings and said its work has been focused on “meaningful climate action”.
The documents – obtained by independent journalists at the Centre for Climate Reporting working alongside the BBC – were prepared by the UAE’s COP28 team for meetings with at least 27 foreign governments ahead of the COP28 summit, which starts on 30 November.
They included proposed “talking points”, such as one for China which says Adnoc, the UAE’s state oil company, is “willing to jointly evaluate international LNG [liquefied natural gas] opportunities” in Mozambique, Canada and Australia.
The documents suggest telling a Colombian minister that Adnoc “stands ready” to support Colombia to develop its fossil fuel resources.
There are talking points for 13 other countries, including Germany and Egypt, which suggest telling them Adnoc wants to work with their governments to develop fossil fuel projects.
The choice of the UAE as host of the conference is deemed controversial since it is one of the world’s top 10 oil-producing nations – the main causes of climate change because they release planet-warming greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide when burned for energy.
What’s more, the chief executive of the state-owned oil company, Sultan al-Jaber, is the president of the COP28 talks. A man who has previously argued that he is uniquely well-placed to push for action from the oil and gas industry, and that as chairman of renewable energy firm Masdar, he has also overseen the expansion of clean technologies like wind and solar power.