Unveiling Greenwashing Tactics: The UAE, a major oil producer and host of the COP28 UN climate summit in Dubai, is under fire for its green efforts. The UAE is promoting its climate record amid global heatwaves, storms, and floods. Climate groups and politicians have questioned the country’s commitment to meaningful climate action.
The UAE claims it is “ideally suited” to host COP28, but covert influence campaigns have raised concerns. The Centre for Climate Reporting and The Guardian found that COP28 team members edited Wikipedia pages about the summit’s chief, and a network of fake social media accounts promoted the UAE’s climate achievements. Climate researchers are concerned about a lack of ambition for the crucial summit.
COP summits are always controversial. Previous conferences have had controversies and disappointing results. Katowice, Poland’s coal capital, hosted the 2018 conference, while Glasgow, Scotland’s oil and gas hub, hosted the 2021 summit.
UAE’s summit-oil industry integration is unique. Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of the state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), has been criticized for being the summit president. A fossil fuel executive leading a climate conference is considered a conflict of interest. Climate organizations and over 100 US Congress and European Parliament members have called for Al Jaber’s resignation, fearing his appointment will stymie negotiations.
Al Jaber’s subsequent statements have acknowledged the need to phase down fossil fuels, but his focus on “fossil fuel emissions” rather than fossil fuels has raised concerns. To solve the climate crisis, scientific organizations like the IPCC recommend phasing out oil, coal, and gas.
Online COP28 activities have increased unease. Al Jaber’s Wikipedia page was edited to “greenwash” him. Researchers have also identified suspicious Twitter accounts quoting COP28 tweets unusually. Disinformation expert Marc Owen Jones found many fake Twitter accounts promoting the UAE’s environmental record and supporting Al Jaber. These accounts match the messaging of petrochemical states, particularly the UAE, raising suspicions.
Critics say the UAE’s reliance on fossil fuels disqualifies it from hosting the world’s largest climate summit. Although the country ratified the Paris Agreement early and set emission reduction targets, its GDP is still heavily reliant on the oil and gas industry. The UAE’s recent commitment to increase its climate targets is an improvement, but experts warn that current policies, such as oil and gas production expansion, may hinder goals.
The UAE has spent heavily on PR to improve its climate image. The UAE’s efforts are ambitious, even though COP hosts usually provide such services. UAE government and state-run entities spent heavily on lobbying and PR, according to US Justice Department filings. Critics say this spending is excessive given the country’s population and calls into question its sincerity.
COP28 will shape our planet’s future. This conference will assess countries’ progress in reducing planet-heating pollution and preventing catastrophic temperature increases amid climate chaos. The IPCC urges stopping fossil fuel burning, which accounts for a large portion of human-caused emissions.
In these dire circumstances, the UAE’s ambition is questioned. Hosting the summit while having economic interests that conflict with its goals raises questions about the country’s climate action. The UAE believes it can host COP28 and is committed to climate action.
As the world eagerly awaits COP28, the balance between genuine climate ambition and perceived conflicts of interest remains a hot topic. This crucial event will shape global climate change efforts and our planet’s future.
Unveiling Greenwashing Tactics: Discover the controversial strategies employed to enhance the UAE’s climate image at COP28. Dive into fake profiles, Wikipedia editing, and intense PR battles.
Our Reader’s Queries
What are the tactics of greenwashing?
Greenwashing takes on various forms, with some being more blatant than others. Examples include falsely asserting to be making progress in reducing a company’s harmful emissions without any actual viable plan in existence. Another tactic is intentionally being ambiguous or non-committal about a company’s activities and the materials it uses.
How do you uncover greenwashing?
Watch out for the way things are described. Be careful of trendy words that are used without any real meaning. Words like “eco-friendly,” “green,” “all-natural,” “earth-friendly,” “non-toxic,” “plant-based,” “plant-derived,” “pure,” “raw,” and “organic” (without proof), are often used to deceive. Without further information, these words are essentially meaningless.
How do you counter greenwashing?
Be factual, specific, and evidence-based in your communication to counter greenwashing. Avoid making claims of being the first or saving the planet. Check and verify your work to ensure transparency.
What is an example of greenwashing propaganda?
Frequently, greenwashing involves using contradictory terms such as “clean coal,” plastic-based “vegan leather,” and “sustainable consumption.” These marketing slogans don’t align with the harsh truth of pollution, climate change, and global warming.