COP28 advisory board member resigns over reports of UAE fossil fuel dealmaking

COP28 advisory board member resigns over reports of UAE fossil fuel dealmaking

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COP28 advisory board member resigns over reports of UAE fossil fuel dealmaking

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DUBAI (Reuters) - A member of the main advisory board of the COP28 climate summit resigned on Friday over reports the UAE presidency planned to use the meeting to secure oil, gas deals, according to her resignation letter seen by Reuters.

Hilda Heine, former president of the low-lying, climate vulnerable Marshall Islands, said reports that the UAE planned to discuss possible natural gas and other commercial deals ahead of UN climate talks were "deeply disappointing" and threatened to undermine the credibility of the multilateral negotiation process.

"These actions undermine the integrity of the COP presidency and the process as a whole," Heine wrote in the letter she sent to COP President Sultan al-Jaber.

She added that the only way for Jaber to restore trust in the process was to "deliver an outcome that demonstrates that you are committed to phasing out fossil fuels".

Jaber has denied the reports by the BBC and Centre for Climate Reporting.

In response to Heine's resgination, a spokesperson for the COP28 presidency said it is "extremely disappointed by Dr Heine's resignation."

"We appreciated her advice throughout the year and that we only wish she would have been with us here in the UAE celebrating the adoption of a fund that will support vulnerable island states and those most affected by climate impacts," the spokesperson said.

The COP28 talks began on Thursday with an agreement to create a "loss and damage" fund that has already mobilised millions of dollars.

Heine had been a prominent figure in global climate negotiations, representing countries most vulnerable to climate impacts and a leading voice in calling for the creation of a fund to assist countries.




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