Thursday 18th of April 2024

solving global warming in the UAE......

UAE Selects Fossil Fuel Exec to Lead COP28

The appointment of ADNOC’s CEO, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, to lead this year’s UN climate talks is like asking “arms dealers to lead peace talks,” campaigners say.


Climate campaigners reacted with outrage on Thursday to the announcement that the United Arab Emirates’s president has appointed the leader of the country’s national oil company to preside over the 2023 United Nations climate talks, which the UAE will host later this year.


By Dana Drugmand


 on Jan 12, 2023



Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber was named as president-designate of this year’s UN climate summit, COP28, scheduled to take place November 30 – December 12 in Dubai. Al Jaber is the UAE’s special envoy for climate change and also serves as the country’s Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology. He is the founder and CEO of a renewable energy firm called Masdar. But it is his role as the CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), one of the largest oil and gas producers in the world, that is sparking condemnation and conflict of interest allegations.

“You wouldn’t invite arm dealers to lead peace talks. So why let oil executives lead climate talks?” Alice Harrison, fossil fuels campaign leader at Global Witness, said in a statement.

“Renewable energy is now cheap and abundant,” Harrison continued. “But fossil fuel companies are working hard to keep skin in the game, and sadly the UN is rolling out the red carpet to them. This blatant conflict of interest at the heart of this year’s climate talks threatens to torpedo them before they’ve even begun.”  

The presence of people with ties to the fossil fuel industry and other big polluters at the annual UN climate negotiations is nothing new. More than 600 fossil fuel lobbyists attended last year’s climate talks, COP27, in Egypt, a more than 25 percent increase over COP 26. And representatives of big agribusiness at COP27 totaled at least 160, according to a DeSmog analysis. Furthermore, Hill+Knowlton, the PR firm hired to run communications at COP27, also represents fossil fuel clients and ignored calls to sever ties with these clients ahead of last November’s climate summit. But Al Jaber is the only COP president who was a fossil fuel CEO at the time of his appointment.

As hosts of this year’s UN climate summit, the UAE had a significant presence at COP27 in Egypt. The largest group of fossil fuel lobbyists appeared to be the 33 delegates from Abu Dhabi’s National Energy Company, TAQA, followed by 22 representatives from ADNOC, according to Global Witness. ADNOC’s promotion of its initiatives around carbon capture and storage (CCS) at COP27 elicited criticism from campaigners who viewed it as greenwashing its fossil fuel business.

With the head of ADNOC now appointed to lead COP28, climate advocates are alarmed and angered that the UAE’s national oil company will have even greater influence at this year’s climate summit.

“The appointment of Sultan al-Jaber… risks jeopardising the entire UN climate progress. We are extremely concerned that it will open the floodgates for greenwashing and oil and gas deals to keep exploiting fossil fuels,” said Zeina Khalil Hajj, head of global campaigning and organizing at 

The increasing infiltration of fossil fuel interests into the UN climate talks, and the reluctance of these negotiations to confront fossil fuels head-on as the main driver of the climate crisis, have left some advocates questioning the process’s effectiveness and seeking an alternative solution.

“The COPs are increasingly becoming irrelevant,” Saleemul Huq, director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development, said Thursday during a Covering Climate Now press briefing.

“With their backs against the wall, the fossil fuel industry is scrambling, sending more lobbyists to the climate summit each year and now weaseling their way into a position to dictate these negotiations. But we cannot meet the goals of the Paris Agreement without international cooperation to explicitly tackle all fossil fuels head on. A glaring gap exists, one that can be filled by a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is already being called for by nation states, parliamentarians, Nobel Laureates and sub-national governments,” Alex Rafalowicz, executive director of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative, said in an emailed statement. The treaty campaign calls for an end to fossil fuel expansion and a global phaseout of existing production of coal, oil, and gas.

“We cannot have the fossil fuel industry defining how the transition away from fossil fuels takes place,” added Harjeet Singh, strategic advisor to the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative. “We need governments and vulnerable countries leading that conversation.”









weasel word polishing......


By DeSmog  on Jan 3, 2023


Last year, we chased ambitious stories all along the climate spectrum. We investigated allegations of workers exposed to radioactive oilfield waste, reported from the frontlines of climate-fueled extreme weather and climate migration, expanded our coverage of the climate impact of agriculture, followed the ongoing buildout of LNG, and sent a team to COP27, among other things.

This year, we’ll continue chasing major climate stories around the globe and exposing the people and groups fueling denial and delay. Below, a handful of DeSmog writers dive into the issues they’ll be watching in 2023.


Salmon might seem like a good alternative to meat, in a world that needs to shift away from carbon-intensive cattle — at least the fish farming industry would have you see it that way. The aquaculture market is booming and is the fastest-growing food sector in the world right now. 

But there’s a hitch. Salmon is fed on other fish — small, oily, and nutritious pelagic species — which are harvested by the tonne off the West African coastline and pulverized into fishmeal and fish oil for export to Europe and Asia. These fish would otherwise be feeding communities — already hard hit by climate change — who have no other way to replace this lost superfood, which contains the nutrients most needed by children in their first 1,000 days of life. In 2023, DeSmog will be looking more into the aquaculture industry, its impacts, and where it seeks to influence policy. – Hazel Healy, DeSmog’s UK editor


Burning wood to raise energy security? What sounds like a bizarre idea for hitting climate targets is set to gain further purchase in 2023, as Europe’s scramble to replace Russian gas continues apace.

Bioenergy already makes up around 60 percent of the EU’s renewable energy sources, and lobbyists are jumping on the current geopolitical crisis to ramp this up further. Weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine, DeSmog revealed with the Financial Times how UK power plant Drax was at the heart of lobbying efforts to dilute EU biodiversity rules that could limit its supply of wood. 

In 2023, we’ll continue to keep our eye on EU policy around bioenergy. In September, the European Parliament sent a clear signal that using “primary woody biomass” — healthy or fallen trees for fuel — is problematic and shouldn’t be subsidized. But plenty of loopholes remain.

And let’s not forget Drax in Yorkshire, a former coal-fired power station which generates nearly 13 percent of the UK’s “renewable” electricity from burning wood pellets. 

Drax already receives over £800 million a year from the UK government to burn these pellets sourced from around the EU and the U.S., and is hoping to win more public money from 2027 through creating “carbon negative” bioenergy by capturing carbon from its operations and burying it underground.

DeSmog will be looking at the ways in which lobby groups and pro-bioenergy politicians move from questionable “carbon neutral” to “negative emissions” claims about bioenergy, and what this means for the future of Europe’s energy mix. – Phoebe Cooke, DeSmog UK’s senior reporter

Canadian Hydrogen

Hydrogen fuel gained significant traction as a climate solution in 2022, with governments and industry pledging billions of dollars towards new development projects. In particular “blue hydrogen,” derived from gas and paired with carbon sequestering tech, has been touted as a promising transition fuel in Canada and around the world. 

Critics of the push say carbon capture technology is still unproven, methane leakage could add untold greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere, and transport complications all make blue hydrogen a much dirtier fuel than the name implies. Last year, we mapped Canada’s hydrogen lobby and revealed how fossil fuel interests are pushing for blue hydrogen in Canada. DeSmog will be keeping an eye on how industry actors are leveraging the theoretical promise of hydrogen to lock in continued fossil fuel production in 2023 and beyond. – Sarah Berman, DeSmog’s Canada editor

Carbon Capture and Storage

Haven’t heard of “net-zero oil”? Next year (2023) you will.

Big Oil has been holding out the prospect that a technology known as carbon capture and storage (CCS) can slash the emissions caused by burning its products for decades. That promise has never materialized: Existing CCS projects capture and bury about 0.1 percent of global emissions. And the technique has mostly been used to pump yet more oil out of depleted fields — canceling out the benefits of storing the carbon dioxide (CO2) underground.

With pressure to decarbonise growing, oil executives are pushing the technology harder than ever. At the COP27 climate talks in Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, host of next year’s negotiating round, placed CCS at the heart of its attempts to present a climate-friendly image, and majors such as TotalEnergies, Shell, and ExxonMobil are also making big carbon capture promises.

Campaigners will be pointing out that building a few CCS projects will nowhere near offset the harm caused by the industry’s plans to ramp up overall production — and that the only “net-zero oil” is the oil that stays in the ground. As scrutiny of CCS intensifies, DeSmog will be on hand to make sense of one of the most complex and fast-moving fronts in the global climate fight. – Matthew Green, DeSmog’s global investigations editor


Disinformation campaigns will certainly continue in 2023, confusing and convincing ever more people that fake news is true. Still, I’m encouraged by growing interest in “pre-bunking” — inoculating people against disinformation by familiarizing them with common disinformation tropes and techniques ahead of time. 

This is familiar territory for DeSmog — we have unpacked and decoded fossil fuel greenwashing and climate denier messaging for more than a decade — but now that social media has turbocharged the circulation of conspiracy theories and white grievance, it’s vital to get out ahead of these messages. 

Researchers have been studying the effectiveness of pre-bunking for some years, and now the idea seems to be going mainstream; NPR, the Associated Press, and NBC News have all run stories about pre-bunking in recent months. 

I asked Janet Haven, executive director of Data & Society, where she thought disinformation might go in the year ahead. Haven anticipates little self-regulation from within the tech sector, particularly when it comes to the new generation of chaotic-neutral AI tools and bots like Chat GPT. “However, I do hope we will see growing attention at the federal level to build meaningful guardrails around the development and deployment of these and other AI systems,” she said, “ones that put the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms over pure technical innovation.” 

It’s hard to be optimistic. Still, the bipartisan passage of the Respect for Marriage Act makes me wonder if both parties in Congress may find one or two more things to agree on in the coming year. – Emily Gertz, DeSmog editor

Global Oilfields

In 2023, I will be watching what happens with oil and gas fields in Alaska, the Arctic, Africa, and South America. I will also keep an eye on how Europe responds to the re-energizing of the fracking boom in the United States due to the war in Ukraine, and whether or not Europe chooses to drill, and even frack their own resources. Of course, I will be closely following issues around oilfield radioactivity, and how readers in the United States and the world at large continue to respond to our stories and reveals on this topic. – Justin Nobel, DeSmog contributor

LNG Buildout

The year we’ll be keeping an eye on the scramble by the oil and gas industry to lock in the last gasps of growth before the unfolding energy transition forces them into stagnation and decline. For instance, the industry sought to capitalize off of Russia’s war in Ukraine to build new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, as DeSmog covered in 2022. We’ll be watching those efforts to cash in on the war as 2023 unfolds. A handful of LNG projects are moving forward on the U.S. Gulf Coast, but many others are struggling to secure financing.

To be sure, the gas industry is not entirely on the offensive; it is under siege on many other fronts. Dozens of municipalities, counties, and even a few states are starting to ban gas connections in new buildings and are stepping up efforts to accelerate building electrification. This has the potential to cut off one area of growth for the fossil fuel industry. In the face of that threat, the gas industry and utilities are engaging in various greenwashing campaigns, hyping up false solutions — such as renewable natural gas and hydrogen for home heating — in an attempt to influence climate policy and secure a long-term future for fossil fuel assets. DeSmog will continue to scrutinize and report on these developments. – Nick Cunningham, DeSmog contributor

PR Influence

Last year, reports challenged the notion that PR firms are merely neutral bystanders when it comes to Big Oil’s ideas. Instead, agents have created and shaped the communication strategies of their fossil fuel clients, while remaining close to invisible. Authors Melissa Aronczyk and Maria I. Espinoza have called these processes “strategies of silence,” as I explored in my first Gaslit column, published at the beginning of 2022. 

PR firms have remained behind the scenes so effectively that only recently has their role in spreading climate disinformation come into the spotlight. From creating phrases like “lower emission fuel” to executing greenwashing strategies, research is increasingly showing that PR firms are involved in creating marketing, image, and reputation strategies for oil and gas companies, while shaping culture, policy, and public discourse on the climate crisis.

For example, last November, DeSmog highlighted the role of Hill+Knowlton, the PR firm handling communications for COP27, which also retains clients such as Exxon and the American Petroleum Institute and contributed to creating Big Tobacco’s denial playbook.

As the veil is being lifted, much remains to be learned about the intersection between PR firms and the fossil fuel industry. In 2023, I’ll be looking at how this is developing, and the role PR plays in climate obstruction around the world. – Stella Levantesi, DeSmog contributor and “Gaslit” author











by Winfried Pogorzelski


On 26 November 2022 at the community house in Zurich, the annual symposium of Biovision took place, a swiss nonprofit foundation established in 1998 by Hans Rudolf Herren using the money he won by achieving the World Nutrition Award. Together with many partner organisations, this foundation supports sufficient and healthy nutrition of mankind whilst preserving natural basics of living. By transforming the nowadays dominating industrialised production of food into an agroeconomic agriculture in alignment with the “International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development” (IAASTD) published in 2008, famine and poverty shall be conquered in the long term.

The main topic at the conference was in which way such a sustainable, health-supporting nutritional system can be achieved in the long term, facing the realities of ever-growing global warming and political crises. Staff members of the foundation led through a three-hour event where guests from Africa as well as committed volunteers got their chance to speak.
    Biovision is being active to this day primarily in Kenia, Tansania and Ethiopia, where over a million peasant families are educated and supported in running agriculture on their own and biologically successful – which means by saving resources and without dependencies on seeds, chemical fertilizers and pesticides. As one of Biovision’s numerous projects supported in Africa, the conference introduced the daily work of an Education and Research Centre for Agroeconomic Agriculture situated in the southwestern African state of Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world. Two female Malawians reported that in former times, many children got sick by eating maize as their only source of nutrition, while the cultivation of maize drained the soil from its nutrients. With the help of agroeconomic methods (for example by using self-produced natural fertilizers and catch crop cultivation of legumes etc.), which were adopted by more and more peasant families, the situation has dramatically improved for many: Over 10,000 peasants are now able to feed themselves well permanently and sell surpluses on the marketplace.
    More examples for agroeconomics (see box) being on the rise in Eastern Africa were shown in various video reports: An entrepreneuse from Nairobi runs an organic vegetable shop, where all products are grown on her farm and on the farms of regional peasants. To the north of Nairobi, vegetable and fruit gardens, which are fertilised with precious compost soil, have been laid out and furthermore, an education centre has been established, both following agroeconomic principles.
    All of Biovision’s achievements are the result of constant accompanying research on site – in close cooperation with the peasants – as well as of education and advanced training of the population involved.
    In the second part of the programme, the Biovision initiative for a so-called “Citizen’s Council for Nutrition Policy” was introduced, which was launched this year as a novelty for Switzerland. This council has discussed the questions about future sustainable nutrition in Switzerland over several months. Eighty individuals, who represent a cross section of the swiss population, but who had been chosen randomly, worked together with scientists and visited farming operations for five months to answer the question of how the future nutrition system of Switzerland could or should look like.
    Two participants reported on the process and Basel-Country Councillor of State and Councillor of the Biovision foundation, Maya Graf, presented ideas on how the suggestions made by the “Citizen’s Council” may be implemented. A national congress for the nutrition system will take place in Bern in early February of 2023, on which a catalogue of recommendations, developed based on mentioned ideas, will be handed over to politics, administration and practice.
    To conclude the conference, founder and president of Biovision as well as recipient of the alternative Nobel Prize, Hans Rudolf Herren, presented his speech. He reminded the audience that the globally practiced industrialised nutrition system is responsible for 30 % of global warming.
    In presence of ongoing crises, in addition to sustainability the resilience, meaning the power of resistance of the nutrition system against crises must be strengthened. To accomplish this, an integral kind of thinking is needed, where production, processing and marketing of food up to the point of consumption play a role and are influencing each other. In the field of production, much progress has been made in the sense of agroeconomics. The main focus now has to lie on the field of marketing and on empowering the personal relationship between producer and consumer, so that peasants will be able to sell their products well.
    During the break, information and respective brochures could be gathered at various stands. Upon the end of the conference, the audience expressed its appreciation by standing ovations.









bad writing....

Carbon has a (justifiably) bad reputation for its role in climate change.

You've heard we need to reduce our carbon emissions, our carbon footprint, our carbon miles.

That's certainly the case, but this is typically carbon that is emitted into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, methane and soot.