Four years after storming the World Economic Forum, Greta Thunberg returned to Davos on Thursday for a blast The United Arab Emirates To appoint the head of the state-owned oil company to chair Cop28 climate talks later this year.
Thunberg said it was “absolutely absurd” that Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), would preside over the next round of Global Climate Talks In Dubai in November.
She said at an event on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting Davos that lobbyists have been influencing these conferences “since, essentially, forever”.
“It puts a very clear face on her,” she added. “This is completely absurd.”
German climate campaigner Louisa Neubauer also called the move “ridiculous”, but it is not a new development as lobbyists flocked to the recent Kop meeting in Egypt.
Helena Gualinga, an indigenous community in the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador, said the UAE’s move sends a message that the climate issue is not being taken seriously.
“I think it sends a message of where we’re going now, if we’re putting the heads of fossil fuel companies to lead the climate negotiations,” Gualinga said.
In November, the board of directors of ADNOC decided to put forward its goal of increasing oil production to 5 million barrels per day until 2027 from 2030 to meet the growing global demand for energy.
In response to the activists’ comments, a Cop28 spokesperson insisted Al Jaber – who founded Masdar Renewable Energy Company in 2006 – “was uniquely qualified to deliver a successful Cop28”.
A Cop28 spokesperson said: “Dr. Sultan is an energy expert and founder of one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, chief businessman, government minister, and climate diplomat with over 20 years of experience taking climate action.”
Thunberg also called on the fossil fuel chiefs to immediately stop opening any new sites for fossil fuel extraction.
Begg said the “cease and desist” order signed by Thunberg and fellow activists Gualinga, Neubauer and Vanessa Nakati of Uganda oil It has been known for decades that fossil fuels cause climate breakdown, and has misled the public and deceived politicians.
“These activities must be terminated because they directly violate our human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, your duty of care, as well as the rights of indigenous people,” the notice read.
The people who are mostly fueling the destruction of the planet, who are at the heart of the climate crisis, who are investing in fossil fuels, Thunberg said, are in Davos.
“However, in a way, these are the people we seem to depend on to solve our problems, as they have proven time and time again, that they don’t prioritize that,” she said. “They prioritize self-greed, corporate greed, and short-term economic profits above people and above the planet.”
It was “ridiculous” to listen to these people, Thunberg said, rather than to those on the front lines of the climate crisis.
Nakati said the climate crisis is evident in the hardest-hit regions, such as the Horn of Africa, where children suffer from severe acute malnutrition.
The Quartet was joined by Fatih Birol, the head of the International energy Agency.
In 2021, the International Energy Agency said that the exploitation and development of new oil and gas fields must stop in that year, if the world is to achieve the goal of net zero emissions by 2050.
On Thursday, Birol said he was “very happy” that activists are pushing the climate agenda forward.
Birol warned that it might not make sense for banks to finance new fossil fuel projects.
Asked about banks financing new oil and gas generation, despite their net zero pledges, Birol said it was “their money”, not the IEA’s. But, he added, there is a risk that demand may not be there when new oil fields appear, perhaps six or seven years after the decision to drill is made.
In 2019, Thunberg warned Davos delegates that “our house is on fire” next Traveling by train to the ski resort is a 32-hour journeyand camping out with climatologists on the mountain slopes – temperatures plummeting to -18°C.