The UAE has spent lavish funds in hopes of promoting itself as a green energy hub. Emirates will be the host of next year’s UN climate conference. Emirates made an announcement last year that the country will be hosting Cop28. A big-name lobbying firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has reportedly been paid $2.85m to inform Republican and Democratic lawmakers of the selection about the same.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld Received Funds From The UAE
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is a firm working in the favor of the UAE. The organization even went on to send an email blitz that alerted a diverse group of offices about the decision. This organization is also making efforts to convince the Environmental Council of Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and top Republicans Lindsey Graham and Lisa Murkowski to help the Emirates.
In addition, the UAE has also hired several lobbying and PR firm Fleishman-Hillard to paint the Emirates’ climate agenda in a positive light. Ahead of the announcement made by the UAE about the country hosting the Cop28 Emirates has been doing a lot of lobbying activities to turn things in their favor.
UAE Climate Initiatives Amplified By Lobbying Firms
Between September and October 2021, some lobbying firms made major plans to promote UAE as a green hub. We saw many reports coming into the media that were aimed at amplifying the UAE’s climate initiatives. The firms have been working to facilitate interviews with ministers and helping UAE to discuss the issue of climate change.
UAE has been spending hundreds of dollars on funding activities and firms receiving the funds have been promoting the country’s pledge regarding climate issues. UAE is expected to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. These details were revealed in the federal documents reviewed by MEE.
Emirates Is Solar At Home And Hydrocarbon Outside Home
The UAE has poured billions of dollars and has invested its time and money into clean energy projects. Emirates is home to the largest single-site solar park in the world. It also continues to invest in fossil fuels and has improved its economy in the past few years.
Analysts have revealed that Gulf states see little inconsistency in investing in solar sectors.
“The more Gulf states can reduce domestic demand for hydrocarbons, the more they have available to export at higher prices abroad,” Jim Krane, working as an energy expert and fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute, told the media.
Gulf Energy Producers Empowered
Cash-strapped Egypt will be hosting this year’s Cop27. The event will be held at the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh. The country has sought to cut back on electricity consumption nationwide, as they are aiming aim of freeing up more natural gas to export to Europe.
Gulf energy producers are more empowered at this year’s climate conference, as the war in Ukraine has raised concerns about the traditional energy sector. UAE will be awaking at this year’s event, which is hosted by a close Middle Eastern ally.
More than 1,000 Emirati delegates have attended Cop27. Seventy members of the delegations of the UAE have been tied to the hydrocarbon industry. Among the group that attended the conference include Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber, who is the chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co and some other energy producing companies.
Like other Gulf leaders, Jaber will also be working to help the Emirates reshape the narrative on climate policy. The country has released a serious warning for the people working in the energy sector that the failure to invest in fossil fuels before could create a “recipe for disaster”.
Matthew Hedges, who is an analyst of UAE affairs and the author of a book on Gulf governance was imprisoned for six months in the Emirates because of his doctoral research. He has shared that the Emirates’ lobbying around climate technologies, Cop27 and Cop28 is to “divert the discussion away from practical outputs to simply communication”.
Jaber is playing an important role as the head of both ADNOC and the UAE climate envoy. Jaber recently said: “policies aimed at divesting from hydrocarbons too soon, without adequate viable alternatives, are self-defeating”.
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