Gulf has hired PR firms to stress its part in next year’s climate summit. The United Arab
Emirates has been involved in serious lobbying activities ahead of becoming the host of next
year’s UN climate conference. The country wants to improve the international reputation of its
UAE Has Contacted Organizations To Boost The Promotion Of Its Action On Climate Issues
The UAE president, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, addressed in the plenary session in
Sharm el-Sheikh, puts a lot of stress on how UAE has been working towards improving their
climate issues. He went on discussing on how oil and gas supplies from the Emirates are
improving the economy of the country. He said:
“The UAE is a responsible energy supplier, and we will continue to play that role as we pursue
a transition to alternate resources and technologies,” he said. “By our geology, the oil and gas
we have in the UAE are among the least carbon-intensive in the world. Nevertheless, we will
continue to work towards reducing carbon emissions in the sector.”
The UAE has declared that they intend to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. This tiny Gulf
nation draws around 30% of its GDP which is directly from oil and gas. The remaining amount
comes from industries that are heavily linked to fossil fuel consumption.
The industries like airlines, tourism, and construction use fossil fuels to run their business.
Longtime observers of Emirati policies say that the UAEs claim to get a smooth transition away
from fossil fuels is unlikely especially if we consider the current conditions of the country.
UAE Lobbying Efforts Targeting Politicians
The UAE has a record of mixed public statements regarding the transition from fossil fuels. It is
reflected in lobbying efforts targeting politicians of the EU and the USA. The lobbying began
three days after the announcement was made in November 2021 that they would host Cop28.
Filings with the US Department of Justice have shown that UAE contacted media organizations
and wishes to boost the perception of its action on climate issues. The lobbying of the UAE is
also focused on the senators and congress people who had different voting records before UAE
contacted them. The officials and the senators are promoting UAE legislation on the climate
crisis and fossil fuels.
Emirates Has Spent Millions Of Dollars Spent On Lobbying To Hide The Damage Caused By The Climate Crisis
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld which is an organization in the US has received $2.85m from
the Emirates’ embassy in Washington DC. The form is contacting politicians on both sides of the
aisle and informing them that UAE will be hosting Cop28 in the weeks to come. This form has
contacted senators with a legislative record of policies. UAE intends to curb wildfires and
environmental damage that are caused by the climate crisis. Oregon senator Jeff Merkley and
several other Democrats are playing an important role in improving the image of the Emirates.
The lobbying efforts are targeted toward burnishing the record of policies that intend to buoy the
fossil fuel industries. The Republican senator Lindsey Graham has said that the climate crisis
is “no reason to destroy the fossil fuel industry”. Senator James Inhofe also said that human-
made climate change was “the greatest hoax”.
UAE Lobbying Intends To Improve Perceptions Of The Country
The UAE has been making efforts to lobby around Cop28. Emirates has spent at least $10m in
additional existing lobbying. The money is spent to improve the relations contracts with firms
based in the EU. UAE intends to improve its political or economic ties with the EU and the US.
UAE was announced as the host of Cop28, last year and since them, the Emirates has
increased its lobbying and PR efforts around the issue of the climate. The country has spent at
least $126,500 in agreements with Fleishman Hillard.
The firm is working with UAE to achieve a “general positive reputational impact for the UAE”.
This organization has received funds from the UAE and has bene promoting claims about an
Emirati government company that is producing its aluminum using solar power. No source
confirms that UAE is using solar power in any of its projects so far.