Reuters reported that the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) made $802 million in net profit in 2022, up 33% from $604 million in 2021. The drilling giant is anticipating another record-breaking year—with a projection of $850 million to $1 billion in net profit in 2023—largely because it intends to ramp up extraction, including from so-called "unconventional" wells, despite evidence that doing so will contribute to locking in the worst consequences of the climate crisis. Despite scientists' repeated warnings that expanding fossil fuel production will worsen the deadly impacts of the climate emergency, ADNOC and hundreds of other corporations are planning to ramp up planet-heating pollution in the years ahead.
Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber is the chief executive of ADNOC, one of the world's largest oil and gas producers He also happens to be president-designate of the forthcoming United Nations climate summit, COP28.
"...entirely incompatible with his role as president-designate of COP28," Marta Schaaf of Amnesty International said in a statement. "Sultan al-Jaber cannot be an honest broker for climate talks when the company he leads is planning to cause more climate damage."
Schaaf, Amnesty's program director for Corporate Accountability and Climate, Economic, and Social Justice, continued, "It is obvious, despite Sultan al-Jaber's denials, that his dual role is a glaring conflict of interest which will contribute to further climate disaster and unfolding human rights violations," said Schaaf.
“Since he was announced as COP28 president-designate last month, Sultan al-Jaber has said that climate concerns should never compromise economic growth. He has described natural gas—a core part of ADNOC's expansion plans whose main ingredient is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide—as a critical component in the transition to sustainable energy."
Genevieve Guenther, founding director of End Climate Silence, accused al-Jaber of attempts to minimize Big Oil's role in causing the climate crisis and willingness to intensify it. As Guenther points out, al-Jaber has portrayed a benign-sounding "energy industry"—bereft of references to oil, gas, and coal companies—as a needed partner in decarbonization even though it is precisely the nature of "the energy industry" that environmental justice groups are trying to transform.
"Following reports that some ADNOC staff have been seconded to the COP28 organizing team," Schaaf said, "the expansion plans will heighten concerns that this crucial climate conference is being hijacked by the state oil company and will serve wider fossil fuel interests."