An oil company CEO will lead COP28
Yes, you read that headline correctly. And if that wasn’t enough, the next COP (UN Climate Conference of the Parties) is already a head-scratcher because it will be held in the United Arab Emirates, a country whose economy relies primarily on petroleum.
According to NPR, “Authorities nominated Sultan al-Jaber, a trusted confidant of UAE leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who serves as CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company” as the president of COP28 in Dubai. Adding a layer of complexity, al-Jaber is also the head of the UAE’s renewable energy efforts.
According to the article, “Al-Jaber’s nomination […] drew immediate criticism. Harjeet Singh, who is the head of Global Political Strategy at Climate Action Network International, said al-Jaber holding the CEO title at the state oil company posed ‘an unprecedented and alarming conflict of interest.‘”
Last year, COP27 was held in Sharm el Sheik, Egypt, a peculiar setting due to the country’s government surveillance and widespread imprisonment of climate activists. COP28 in Dubai is poised to continue the controversial trend as the presence of oil and gas industry leaders will likely muddy climate talks and be a clinic on the perils of greenwashing.
Gas stoves are on the chopping block
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is drafting new rules for stoves in the U.S. and could include more widespread bans. There’s growing evidence that indoor air pollutants released by gas burners have adverse health impacts, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
As soon as this winter, we could see updated emissions standards for stoves, warning labels with safety and health impacts, mandatory ventilation hoods, and even an outright ban.
If you’ve been following the trends, a potential ban should come as no surprise—New York City and other cities and states already have policies (most go into effect in the coming years) that ban gas hookups in new construction buildings. Positive health effects aside, this is a good thing—it means a more widespread move away from fossil-fuel-powered appliances.