Sultan Al Jaber, chief govt of the UAE’s Abu Dhabi Nationwide Oil Firm (ADNOC) and president of this yr’s COP28 local weather summit gestures throughout an interview as a part of the seventh Ministerial on Local weather Motion (MoCA) in Brussels on July 13, 2023.
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UAE oil big ADNOC — run by the president of the COP28 local weather convention — is anticipated to spend greater than $1 billion each month this decade on fossil fuels, in accordance with new evaluation.
That is almost seven occasions larger than its dedication to decarbonization initiatives over the identical timeframe, the analysis says.
It comes forward of the COP28 local weather summit, with Dubai set to host the U.N.’s annual convention from Nov. 30 by means of to Dec. 12. Considered as one of the crucial important local weather conferences since 2015’s landmark Paris Settlement, COP28 will see international leaders collect to debate methods to progress within the combat towards the local weather disaster.
The particular person overseeing the talks, Sultan al-Jaber, is chief govt of ADNOC (the Abu Dhabi Nationwide Oil Firm) — one of many world’s largest oil and fuel corporations. His place as each COP28 president and ADNOC CEO prompted dismay amongst civil society teams and U.S. and EU lawmakers, though a number of authorities ministers have since defended his appointment.
Evaluation performed by worldwide NGO World Witness, and offered solely to CNBC, discovered that ADNOC is planning to spend a mean of $1.14 billion a month on oil and fuel manufacturing alone between now and 2030 — the identical yr through which the U.N. says the world should minimize emissions by 45% to keep away from international disaster.
It signifies that ADNOC is forecast to spend almost seven occasions extra on fossil fuels by means of to 2030 than it does on “low-carbon answer” initiatives.
By 2050, the yr through which the U.N. says your entire world financial system should obtain net-zero emissions, ADNOC is projected to have invested $387 billion in oil and fuel. The burning of fossil fuels is the chief driver of the local weather emergency.
ADNOC, which just lately turned the primary amongst its friends to carry ahead its net-zero ambition to 2045, disputes World Witness’ evaluation and says the assumptions made are inaccurate.
“The evaluation of, and assumptions made, relating to ADNOC’s capital expenditure program past the corporate’s present five-year marketing strategy (2023 to 2027) are speculative and due to this fact incorrect,” a spokesperson at ADNOC informed CNBC through electronic mail.
The Abu Dhabi power group introduced in January this yr that it will allocate $15 billion for funding in “low-carbon options” by 2030, together with investments in clear energy, carbon seize and storage and electrification initiatives.
Excessive-rise tower buildings alongside the central Sheikh Zayed Street in Dubai on July 3, 2023.
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World Witness arrived at its projections by analyzing ADNOC’s forecasted oil and fuel capital expenditure, exploratory capital expenditure and operational expenditure for the interval from 2023 to 2050. The info was sourced from Rystad Power’s UCube database.
Rystad’s knowledge just isn’t accessible to the general public, however is broadly used and referenced by main oil and fuel corporations and worldwide our bodies.
“Fossil fuels corporations prefer to burnish their inexperienced credentials, but they not often say the quiet half out loud: that they proceed to throw eyewatering quantities on the standard polluting oil and fuel that’s accelerating the local weather disaster,” stated Patrick Galey, senior investigator at World Witness.
“How [al-Jaber] can count on to lecture different nations on the necessity to decarbonise and be taken critically is anybody’s guess, whereas he continues to offer vastly extra funding to grease and fuel than to renewable alternate options,” he added.
“He’s a fossil gasoline boss, plain and easy, saying one factor whereas his firm does the opposite,” Galey stated.
The United Nations Framework Conference on Local weather Change didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon the evaluation performed by World Witness. The Convention of the Events (COP) is the supreme decision-making physique of the UNFCCC.
Al-Jaber was the founding CEO of Abu Dhabi state-owned renewable power agency Masdar, which works in additional than 40 nations worldwide and has invested in or dedicated to spend money on renewable power initiatives with a complete worth of over $30 billion.
Talking earlier this yr, al-Jaber stated the principle precedence for the COP28 summit shall be to maintain alive the combat to restrict international heating to 1.5 levels Celsius.
The Paris Settlement goals to restrict the rise within the international common temperature to “properly under” 2 levels Celsius above pre-industrial ranges and to pursue efforts to restrict international heating to 1.5 levels Celsius. Past the vital temperature threshold of 1.5 levels Celsius, it turns into extra possible that small modifications can set off dramatic shifts in Earth’s whole life assist system.
The Worldwide Power Company says no new oil, fuel or coal improvement is appropriate with the objective of curbing international heating to 1.5 levels Celsius.
In response to a request for remark from CNBC, an ADNOC spokesperson stated that power demand is rising because the world’s inhabitants is increasing. “All the present power transition eventualities, together with by the IEA, present that some stage of oil and fuel shall be wanted into the longer term,” the spokesperson stated.
“As such, it can be crucial that, along with accelerating investments in renewables and decrease carbon power options, we contemplate the least carbon intensive sources of oil and fuel and additional scale back their depth to allow a good, equitable, orderly, and accountable power transition. That is the method ADNOC is taking,” they added.
The spokesperson stated its 2022 upstream emissions knowledge confirmed the power group as one of many least carbon-intensive producers worldwide. The corporate will search to additional scale back its carbon depth by 25% and goal close to zero methane emissions by 2030, they added.
“As we scale back our emissions, we’re additionally ramping up investments in renewables and nil carbon energies like hydrogen for our clients,” the spokesperson stated.
A separate report printed in April final yr by World Witness and Oil Change Worldwide discovered that 20 of the world’s greatest oil and fuel corporations have been projected to spend $932 billion by the tip of the last decade to develop new oil and fuel fields.
At the moment, Russian state firm Gazprom was estimated to spend probably the most on fossil gasoline improvement and exploration initiatives by means of to 2030 ($139 billion), adopted by U.S. oil majors ExxonMobil ($84 billion) and Chevron ($67 billion).