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22 Nov 2022

Fiona Harvey & Ruth Michaelson, The Guardian

COP27: Fears over oil producers’ influence with UAE as next host of climate talks

"Fears over oil producers’ influence with UAE as next host of Cop climate talks", 22 November 2022

Fears are growing among climate experts and campaigners over the influence of fossil fuel producers on global climate talks, as a key Gulf petro-state gears up to take control of the negotiations.

The United Arab Emirates, one of the world’s biggest oil exporters, will hold the presidency of Cop28, the next round of UN climate talks that will begin in late November next year.

Decisions taken at the Cop27 climate summit in Egypt, which finished on Sunday, showed the clear imprint of fossil fuel influence, according to people inside the negotiations. They said Saudi Arabia – an ally of Egypt outside the talks – played a key role in preventing a strong commitment to limiting temperature increases to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

Many countries...were bitterly disappointed. Alok Sharma, the UK president of last year’s Cop26 summit, said in visible anger at the conclusion of Cop27 on Sunday morning: “Those of us who came to Egypt to keep 1.5C alive, and to respect what every single one of us agreed to in Glasgow, have had to fight relentlessly to hold the line.”...

At Cop27, Saudi and other Gulf states, along with Brazil and China, are also said to have stymied attempts to include a resolution to phase down fossil fuels in the final outcome...

Simon Stiell, the UN climate chief, is said to be scrutinising the Cop processes, with a view to ensuring their transparency and smooth running. He will be under pressure to ensure that the process of negotiation is less susceptible to fossil fuel interests...