He is the chief executive of major pollution, but Sultan al-Jaber is to be welcomed and perhaps even welcomed when he arrives. At the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow this weekend.
Mr. Al-Jaber, who heads Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, which supplies 3 percent of the world’s oil, has another job. He is the UAE’s special envoy for climate change and the founder of a multi-billion dollar state-owned company that invests in renewable energy.
For more than a decade, he succeeded Prince Abu bin Zayed, the heir apparent to the throne of Abu Dhabi, and led the Gulf of Persia in environmental affairs.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has promised zero zero carbon emissions by 2050, the first regional government to make such a statement. It joins a list of countries with long-term commitment that are difficult to assess.
“Climate action is a pioneer,” said Karim Eljandy, a Middle East environmental researcher at Chatham House Research in London.
Serving as an environmentalist and as an executive selling fossil fuels may seem contradictory. But not in the United Arab Emirates, the federation of seven states, including Abu Dhabi, owns the remaining six banks.
In an interview earlier this year, Mr Al-Jaber said the emirate sees pressure on green energy as a “special opportunity” and not as a threat.
Abu Dhabi’s leadership wants to protect the Emirates oil giant, which has been producing oil for more than 60 years.
The Emirate produces about three million barrels of oil a day, mostly through Abu Dhabi National Oil Company or ADNOC. That revenue will cover most of the country’s economy, support the government financially, and support the city center of the future office towers in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
But the royal family, led by the Emirates, seems to have decided in collaboration with much of the world that it would be better to be part of the solution to global warming – or at least to be seen. (The country has already offered to host COP28 in two years.)
“The net zero target has business behind it,” said Karen Young, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington. “It makes a state hydrocarbon producer brand rather than solutions.”
Analysts say it will not be easy to hit the zero target even by 2050. It does not count.
The goal is still to motivate action and investment.
“You need a big target to move things in the right direction,” said Stephen Griffis, senior vice president of research and development at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi. To do this, the country is in a better position than any other Gulf state.
The emirate plans to spend 600 billion dirhams ($ 163 billion) over the next three decades. A lot of money goes into solar farms that can be set up on Emirates sand. Another source of clean energy is a group of four nuclear power plants recently built in Abu Dhabi by South Korean contractors.
Analysts say that spending is already ahead of neighboring oil exporters in a small country with a population of 9.9 million, such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Emirates, for example, is a regional center for finance, logistics and tourism.
And there may be additional funding to support the green agenda, such as upgrading buildings to less energy for air conditioning, or converting transportation to electricity or hydrogen. The Emirates is one of the richest and is “extremely interested in implementing potential loss-making projects,” said Eurasia Group’s energy and climate management director, Political Concerns.
President Biden’s climate envoy and regular visitor to the Emirates, Mr. Al-Jaber, John Kerry; He tweeted. “It is an example for other energy-producing countries,” he said.
The covenant may already have an effect. Officials at Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter and rival to the United Arab Emirates, met at a conference in Riyadh last Saturday. He said he promised to register a net zero by 2060.
Of course, part of image burning is here. The announcement allowed the UAE and Saudi Arabia to show goodwill before world leaders convened for COP26. Mr. Kerry, who attended the Saudi conference, gave victory in his efforts to raise funds.
But these commitments indicate that large petro-states now see the world as changing and must take part in measures to combat global warming.
“Being at the table was a catalyst for a new world and a new climate,” said Mr. Eljandy.
And this new climate economy must deal with fossil fuels, these oil states say.
Mr al-Jaber told a Saudi conference in Riyadh that oil and gas needed to generate energy for the world economy in the coming years, as well as to generate revenue for investment in new energy sources.
Al-Jaber said the recent shock of natural gas and oil prices has forced some producers to cut or close their electricity bills due to premature decline in investment in these resources.
“The world is in a state of sleep deprivation,” he said. He said oil and gas should remain “major” during the so-called energy transition.
These views contradict the conclusions of some climate experts that new investments in oil and gas must stop immediately if the world wants to stop climate change.
ADNOC is one of the few oil companies that is investing heavily to increase production anywhere. Last summer, the UAE asked the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase its production quota, which sparked a major conflict – after its release – with Saudi Arabia.
Five years ago, Mr. Al-Jaber was appointed CEO of ADNOC and attracted private investors, including oil and gas exploration deals, by selling the company’s infrastructure to investors in financial management companies such as BlackRock and Keker. US-based oxidative petroleum and Italian inies. According to Energy Intelligence analyst Colby Connelly, such transactions have cost around $ 26 billion over the past five years.
ADNOC, along with British oil company BP, recently announced that it will build facilities to produce large quantities of hydrogen, pure fossil fuels in Britain and the United Arab Emirates. Used for moving trucks or metal in the future.
Hydrogen can be a method to replace even export oils. ADNOC has already sent hydrogen to Japan, making it one of the most important customers in the form of ammonia for Gulf oil.