John Kerry tells AP he backs UAE oil chief overseeing COP28

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — U.S. climate envoy John Kerry backs the United Arab Emirates' decision to appoint the CEO of a state-run oil company to preside over the

upcoming U.N. climate negotiations in Dubai, citing his work on renewable energy projects. In an interview Sunday with The Associated Press, the former U.S. secretary of

state acknowledged that the Emirates and other countries relying on fossil fuels to fund their state coffers face finding “some balance” ahead. However, he dismissed the

idea that Sultan al-Jaber's appointment should be automatically disqualified due to him leading the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. Activists, however, equated it to asking “arms

dealers to lead peace talks” when authorities announced his nomination Thursday. “I think that Dr. Sultan al-Jaber is a terrific choice because he is the head of the

company. That company knows it needs to transition," Kerry said after attending an energy conference in the Emirati capital. "He knows — and the leadership of the UAE is committed

to transitioning.” Still, Abu Dhabi plans to increase its production of crude oil from 4 million barrels a day up to 5 million even while the UAE promises to be carbon

neutral by 2050 — a target that remains difficult to assess and one that the Emirates still hasn’t fully explained how it will reach.