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Fossil Fuel Controversy COP28

The COP28 summit is the annual UN climate meeting where world leaders will discuss current plans and responses for future climate emergencies.


It will take place in Dubai, UAE, from 30th November until 12 December 2023.


The UAE is one of the world’s top producers of oil, a fossil fuel that contributes to climate change.


Leaked documents allege that COP28 president Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber planned to use his role to propose oil and gas deals with other countries, the BBC reported earlier today. A COP28 spokesperson denied these allegations, in an email to CBC News.


COP28 will discuss goals such as accelerating the move to clean energy sources, hoping to _ reduce greenhouse gas emissions before 2030, and redistributing money for climate action to poorer countries. The summit will also make inclusivity central.


Image credits: "Dubai" by Eugene Kaspersky is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.


The overall goal of the COP summits has been to limit temperature rises to 1.5C, agreed in Paris in 2015. However, COP28 comes after a year of extreme climate conditions, and the world is currently on track to warm by an estimated 2.4C to 2.7C by 2100, the BBC has found.


Action is key this year. According to the UN, 2023 is set to be the hottest year on record. Climate emergencies have disrupted many communities.


United Nations top climate official Simon Stiell warned that world leaders should “stop dawdling and start doing” before it is too late.


Critics and climate change activists such as Greta Thunberg have accused the COP summits of “greenwashing,” where countries present themselves as caring about climate change but do not act.


Quetin Fouesnant, managing director of climate technology start-up Zuno Carbon, is sceptical about this year’s summit achieving substantial outcomes. 


He said: “I partly lost faith that the process would have a tangible impact on climate change. Increasingly, I know a lot of people [going to COP] can relate to this feeling. I hope COP28 can prove me wrong.” 

Considering the controversies surrounding the summit, people have questioned Dubai’s close involvement in hosting the event.

Youth advocate and entrepreneur Simarna Singh believes that countries like the UAE that rely heavily on fossil fuels need to find a way to be included in the conversation on climate change.

Arguing against their exclusion from the conversation, she said to Eco Business: “It is an opportunity to explore collaborative ways to quicken the transition…and to seek alternative technologies, so that we can achieve a net-zero future.”

Ahead of the conference, earlier today the first transatlantic flight using sustainable cooking oil took off from Heathrow, heading to New York JFK. ‘Saf’ is a sustainable fuel source, perceived to be vital in reducing the carbon emissions of the aviation industry.

No. 10 has defended the UK taking three private jets to COP28 for Sunak, Cameron, and the King.


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