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US, EU Lawmakers’ Support Call for UAE’s Withdrawal of Oil Mogul as COP28 President

Lawmakers from the European Parliament and the US Congress has added their voice to several others who have remained steadfast in urging the United Arab Emirates, the host of the UNFCCC-COP28, to withdraw nomination of COP 28 President-Designate Sultan Al Jaber.

The letter, addressed to President Joe Biden of the United States, UN President Von der Leyen, and Secretary General Anthony Guterres, requested the leaders to urge the UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Simon Stiell, to address their profound concerns about the emerging trend where the UNFCCC negotiations have been captured by private sector polluters with undue influence over the process.

The letter is said to be consistent with the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance’s (PACJA) statement released on January 12, 2023, rejecting the appointment of the oil chief as COP28 President.

PACJA, representing more than 1,500 organisations from diverse backgrounds in 51 countries across Africa, says it welcomes and wholly supports the statement from the EU and US parliamentarians, and seeks a response from the UNFCCC Executive Secretary without further delay.

According to Dr. Mithika Mwenda, the PACJA Executive Director, he said: “Indeed, we hope Simon Stiell will address the issues the Lawmakers raised before the Bonn Climate Change Conference scheduled for June 2023,”.

He pointed out that the excessive influence of the transnational corporations on climate negotiations, as decried by the 35 lawmakers from the United States and European Parliaments, has been enabled by the current rules of the UNFCCC which allow the fossil fuel industry and other corporate interests, despite their clear conflict of interest, to undermine the science and the goals of the Paris Agreement.

“We urge the UNFCCC Executive Secretary to take these steps as soon as possible to ensure that COP28 is a success and that the voices of the most vulnerable and affected communities are heard, respected, and not drowned by corporate interests.

“We stand in solidarity with the millions of people around the world who are demanding climate justice and a livable future for all,” stated Mwenda.

By Dare Akogun

Dare Akogun

Dare Akogun is a dynamic media innovator, strategic communication professional, and seasoned climate and environmental sustainability journalist with over 10 years of influential contributions to the media industry.

He Currently serving as the Head of Digital Media, Senior News Editor, and a presenter at Sobi FM 101.9, a leading radio station in Ilorin, Nigeria.

Dare is on a mission to leverage his media innovation expertise and project management skills to produce high-quality, accurate, and engaging content, while advocating for reduced fossil fuel consumption, especially coal, to combat effect of global warming.

He has covered comprehensively environmental issues and COP conferences, including COP28 in Dubai last year , COP 27 in Egypt, and the United Nations Least Developed Countries conference in Doha, in 2023.

He is a recipient of fellowship to be part of a 15 team of journalists selected worldwide to cover the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2024.

He has a Master's Degree in Mass Communication, from the University of Lagos, a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the Lagos State University and also a
Certification in Business Administration and Management, from the Babson College, Massachusetts, United States of America.

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