COP28 UAE Presidency | Why are Western lawmakers opposing Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber's  appointment? - The Hindu


As the COP28 UAE Presidency approaches, the global stage is abuzz with anticipation and speculation. However, amidst the excitement, there has been a surprising wave of opposition from Western lawmakers regarding the appointment of Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber. In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind this opposition and shed light on the complexities surrounding his appointment.

The Political Landscape:

a) Concerns over Prioritization:

One of the primary reasons for the opposition lies in concerns over the prioritization of issues. Western lawmakers argue that Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber’s appointment might divert attention from crucial global challenges such as climate change mitigation and renewable energy development. They believe that his past affiliations and business interests might hinder his ability to focus solely on the climate agenda.

b) Clash of Political Agendas:

Another factor contributing to the opposition is the clash of political agendas. Some Western lawmakers perceive Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber’s appointment as an attempt by the UAE to advance its geopolitical influence on the international stage. This perception fuels concerns about the potential implications for the COP28 negotiations and the ability to achieve consensus among participating countries.

Human Rights Concerns:

a) Freedom of Expression:

Critics of Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber’s appointment point to the UAE’s track record on freedom of expression. They argue that the UAE government has been known to stifle dissent and limit press freedom, raising concerns about the compatibility of such policies with the principles of transparency and inclusivity that are vital to the success of COP28.

  • b) Labor Rights and Migrant Workers:

Another aspect of human rights concerns revolves around labor rights and the treatment of migrant workers in the UAE. Critics argue that the exploitation and poor working conditions faced by migrant workers are at odds with the values upheld by the COP. They worry that Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber’s appointment could overshadow these important issues, undermining the credibility of the COP28 Presidency.

Lack of Transparency:

a) Transparency in Decision-Making:

Opponents of Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber’s appointment raise questions about the transparency surrounding the selection process. They argue that a more inclusive and consultative approach should have been adopted to ensure the legitimacy of the appointment. The perceived lack of transparency has further fueled suspicions and skepticism among Western lawmakers.

b) Disclosure of Financial Interests:

Critics also emphasize the need for full disclosure of Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber’s financial interests. They argue that a thorough examination of his business connections is essential to avoid conflicts of interest that could compromise the integrity of the COP28 Presidency. The absence of transparent disclosure adds to the concerns raised by opponents.


The opposition from Western lawmakers to Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber’s appointment as the COP28 UAE Presidency stems from various factors, including concerns over prioritization, clash of political agendas, human rights issues, and lack of transparency. It is crucial for these concerns to be addressed and resolved to ensure the success and credibility of COP28. As the event approaches, the focus should remain on collaborative efforts to tackle climate change and create a sustainable future for all.