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

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Leroy N. Soetoro

Dec 5, 2023, 2:01:03 PM12/5/23
DUBAI, Dec 1 (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 U.N. 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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