That's how many people are expected to attend COP-28. For an event that bills itself as green, it seems greenwashing is a better fit.
But before the first gavel strike, there's already a plethora of greenwashing casting a really dark shadow over the entire conference.
🛢 Al Jaber’s presidency has been criticized by many political and civil society leaders given he is the president of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. Just yesterday, the Centre for Climate Reporting and BBC revealed the UAE even planned to use climate talks to make oil deals. That math is totally mathing.
🎙 The UAE’s controls on press and freedom of expression also run counter to the expressed purpose of this year’s conference, which is around full-scale inclusion for all. That many have said, "well...there's a special area at COP for open expression" is most telling.
🤫 There have also been accusations of the UAE using this to whitewash its image on the global stage. Any work by their PR agency is being undone by revelations of state-sponsored digital surveillance and e-mail hacking of UN officials, humanitarians, and human rights groups. This is in addition to millions spent on social media manipulation campaigns and abuses of the migrant workers building the actual Conference venues.
As a former UN employee, I find it embarrassing we've come to this point.
I'll be covering all the ins and outs of COP-28 as they happen. Give me a follow if you're interested in keeping up to date.