The state oil company of the United Arab Emirates, whose CEO will preside over imminent UN climate negotiations, has the largest net-zero-busting expansion plans of any company in the world, according to new data.
Sultan Al Jaber is the chief executive of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and president of the Cop28 summit, which begins on 30 November. The researchers behind the new data said Adnoc’s huge planned expansion of oil and gas production was a clear conflict of interest and they said his position was “ridiculous”.
At Cop28, nations will attempt to agree to cut fossil fuel use and triple renewable energy. The summit comes at the end of a year in which global temperatures have soared, intense impacts of extreme weather have wrecked lives and there have been repeated warnings that the world already has plans to exploit far more fossil fuel reserves than can safely be burned.
The data is from the Global Oil and Gas Exit List (Gogel), a public database detailing the activities of more than 1,600 companies representing 95% of global production. The data shows that almost all companies are ignoring warnings from climate scientists that new oil and gas fields cannot be developed if global temperature rise is to be kept to the internationally agreed 1.5C limit. It also shows that:
$170bn has been spent by the industry on exploration for new oil and gas reserves since 2021.
96% of the 700 companies that explore or develop new oil and gas fields are continuing to do so.
More than 1,000 companies are planning new gas pipelines, gas-fired power plants or liquified natural gas (LNG) export terminals.
The UN warned last week that fossil fuel producers were planning expansions that would blow the planet’s carbon budget twice over. Experts called the plans “insanity” and said they “throw humanity’s future into question”. A long series of scientific studies has concluded that most existing oil, gas and coal reserves need to remain in the ground to tackle the climate emergency but major fossil fuel companies and petrostates have yet to stop exploring for more.
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