Blue Carbon, a Dubai-based company linked to the UAE’s royal family, has secured vast forested land across African nations for conservation projects aimed at generating carbon credits. Critics argue that these conservation deals are being used as a smokescreen to continue fossil fuel production while selling carbon offsets to offset emissions. The UAE is set to host the COP28 climate summit, where it may promote carbon removal as a central climate solution, drawing skepticism from climate advocates.
- Blue Carbon’s Deals: Blue Carbon, linked to UAE’s royal family, has secured forested land equivalent to the size of the United Kingdom across five African nations for conservation projects aimed at generating carbon credits. These credits can be sold to companies and governments to offset their emissions.
- Green Initiatives as Smokescreen: Critics argue that the UAE is using green initiatives, such as forest conservation and carbon offsets, to divert attention from its plans to continue fossil fuel production. The UAE’s oil and gas industry accounts for a significant portion of its GDP and exports.
- COP28 Climate Summit: The UAE is hosting COP28, the annual United Nations climate summit, where it may push for carbon removal, including from oil and gas, as a central solution to the climate crisis. Climate advocates view carbon removal as a way for fossil fuel companies to continue production and profit.
- UAE’s Carbon Emissions: As of 2020, the UAE was responsible for around 0.53% of global CO2 emissions but had a high per capita carbon footprint. Despite its relatively small population, it was the world’s seventh-largest oil producer by volume in 2022.
- ADNOC’s Expansion: The UAE’s state-run oil and gas company, ADNOC, plans to increase oil and gas production significantly by 2030, leading to a 40% rise in greenhouse gas emissions. ADNOC aims to position itself as a major player in the global oil and gas industry.
- Questions About Carbon Capture: ADNOC’s plans to capture carbon emissions have faced scrutiny, with critics arguing that its goals are exaggerated. The company’s expansion plans could depend on the role of carbon capture as discussed at COP28.
Conclusion: The UAE’s involvement in carbon offset deals through Blue Carbon has raised questions about its commitment to addressing climate change and its intentions to continue fossil fuel production. The upcoming COP28 climate summit will be a critical platform for discussions on carbon removal and its potential impact on the fossil fuel industry’s future. Critics argue that these initiatives may allow fossil fuel companies to delay the transition to renewable energy and maintain their profit margins.