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According to Global Witness, the COP28 boss-led oil giant has been spending “a staggering” $1 billion a month on fossil fuels this decade

Sultan Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) of the United Arab Emirates and President of this year’s COP28 climate summit, gestures during an interview during the 7th Ministerial Conference on Climate Change (MoCA) in Brussels July 13, 2023 Gesture.

Francois Walschaerts | Afp | Getty Images

UAE oil giant ADNOC – led by the president of the COP28 climate conference – is expected to spend more than $1 billion every month on fossil fuels for this decade, according to a new analysis by international NGO Global Witness.

According to the study, this is almost seven times higher than the company’s commitment to decarbonization projects over the same period.

ADNOC, which recently became the first company of its kind to put this forward Net zero target by 2045disputes Global Witness’ analysis, saying assumptions made are inaccurate.

It comes ahead of the COP28 climate summit, where Dubai will host the annual UN conference from 30 November to 12 December. Billed as one of the most significant climate conferences since the landmark Paris Agreement of 2015, COP28 will bring together world leaders to discuss how we can move forward in the fight against the climate crisis.

The person leading the talks, Sultan al-Jaber, is the CEO of ADNOC (the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company) – one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies. His position as COP28 President and ADNOC CEO caused consternation among civil society groups US and EU legislatorsalthough since then several government ministers have done so defended his appointment.

Global Witness’s analysis, made available exclusively to CNBC, found that ADNOC plans to spend an average of $1.14 billion a month by 2030 — the same year the United Nations operates — on oil alone – and spend gas production says The world must reduce emissions by 45% to avoid a global catastrophe.

This means that by 2030, ADNOC is projected to spend almost seven times more on fossil fuels than on “low-carbon solutions” projects.

By 2050, the year when the UN says As the entire global economy needs to reach net-zero emissions, ADNOC is expected to invest $387 billion in oil and gas. The burning of fossil fuels is the main cause of the climate emergency.

A spokesman for ADNOC told CNBC via email, “The analysis and assumptions made on ADNOC’s investment program beyond the company’s current five-year business plan (2023-2027) are speculative and therefore incorrect.”

The energy company Abu Dhabi announced In January this year, the company announced it would allocate $15 billion to “low-carbon solutions” investments through 2030, including investments in clean energy, carbon capture and storage, and electrification projects.

High-rise buildings along central Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai on July 3, 2023.

Karim Sahib | Afp | Getty Images

Global Witness arrived at its forecasts by analyzing ADNOC’s projected oil and gas capital expenditure, exploration capital expenditure and operating expenses for the period 2023 to 2050. The data is sourced from Rystad Energy’s UCube database.

Rystad’s data is not publicly available, but is widely used and referenced by major oil and gas companies and international bodies.

“Fossil fuel companies like to brush up on their green credentials, but they rarely say the quiet part out loud: that they continue to dump staggering amounts into the same old polluting oil and gas that is accelerating the climate crisis,” said Patrick Galey, lead investigator at Global witness

“How [al-Jaber] “I can expect to lecture other nations on the need for decarbonization and being taken seriously is unclear while he continues to allocate significantly more funding to oil and gas than to renewable alternatives,” he added.

“He’s quite simply a fossil fuel boss who says one thing while his company does the other,” Galey said.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the analysis conducted by Global Witness. The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the supreme decision-making body of the UNFCCC.

Main priority for COP28

Al-Jaber was founding CEO of Abu Dhabi-based state-owned renewable energy company Masdar, which operates in more than 40 countries worldwide and has invested or committed in renewable energy projects totaling over US$30 billion.

Earlier this year, al-Jaber spoke said The main priority of the COP28 summit will be to keep alive the fight to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The Paris Agreement aims to limit the rise in global average temperature to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and make efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Beyond the critical temperature threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius, it becomes more likely that small changes can trigger dramatic changes in Earth’s entire life support system.

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company has brought forward its net zero target by five years

The International Energy Agency says no new oil, gas or coal development is compatible with the goal of curbing global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Responding to a request for comment from CNBC, an ADNOC spokesman said energy needs are increasing as the world population grows. “All current energy transition scenarios, including those of the IEA, show that a certain amount of oil and gas will be needed in the future,” said the spokesman.

“It is therefore important that, in addition to accelerating investments in renewable energy and lower-carbon energy solutions, we also consider the least carbon-intensive oil and gas sources and continue to reduce their intensity to enable a fair, equitable, orderly and responsible energy supply. ” Crossing. This is the approach ADNOC is taking,” they added.

The spokesman said its upstream emissions data for 2022 confirmed the energy company was one of the lowest carbon-intensive producers in the world. The company will seek to further reduce its carbon intensity by 25% and target near-zero methane emissions by 2030, they added.

“While we are reducing our emissions, we are also increasing investments in renewable energy and zero-carbon energies such as hydrogen for our customers,” the spokesman said.

A separate report published In April last year, Global Witness and Oil Change International found that 20 of the world’s largest oil and gas companies are expected to spend $932 billion on developing new oil and gas fields by the end of the decade.

At the time, it was estimated that the Russian state-owned Gazprom would spend the most on fossil fuel development and exploration projects by 2030 ($139 billion), followed by US oil giants ExxonMobil ($84 billion) and Chevron ($67 billion). -Dollar).

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