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Date: January 26, 2023


António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General 

Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Parties to the UNFCCC—

On January 11, news broke that Sultan Al Jaber, the chief executive of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), will be overseeing the upcoming round of global climate negotiations as president of COP28, hosted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  The United States, the European Union, and even the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) all applauded the news. 

But let us be clear–this is no cause for celebration. This decision threatens the legitimacy and efficacy of COP28. If we have any hope of addressing the climate crisis, every COP must be free from the polluting influence of the fossil fuel industry. 

ADNOC is the world’s 12th largest oil producer.  As a major emitter it ranks 14th in the list of corporations most responsible for carbon emissions. ADNOC also ranked 2nd highest in a global analysis of fossil fuel companies' oil & gas expansion plans, making it one of the fastest growing fossil fuel companies based on its project and construction approval for new fields and wells. It recently ramped up its expansion plans by committing to produce 5 million barrels per day by 2027, and it partners closely with other major polluters to continue to lock in a fossil-fueled future. Its plans are incompatible with the International Energy Agency’s scenario, which makes it clear that there can be no new oil and gas development to be on track to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. 

Even before the appointment of Al Jaber, the UAE’s track record demonstrates it is not serious about phasing out fossil fuel use and keeping global temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees Celsius. Rather, its track record demonstrates it is central to causing the climate crisis, not solving it. 

There is no honor in appointing a fossil fuel executive who profits immensely off of fueling the climate crisis to oversee the global response to climate change. That such a move could ever be seen to be legitimate amidst an intensifying climate crisis where millions of lives and ecosystems are on the line exemplifies just how insidious Big Polluters’ stranglehold over climate policy is. It also points to a deeper problem—fossil fuel interests overrun the UNFCCC and threaten its credibility. At COP27 last November, more than 630 fossil fuel lobbyists registered to attend the climate negotiations. The UAE, now hosting COP28, had more fossil fuel lobbyists on its delegation than any other country. The grim reality is that this appointment represents a tipping point in which the UNFCCC is rapidly losing any legitimacy and credibility.

More than 450 organizations have called on world governments to reset the system to ensure that it stops serving greed and profits and instead protects the people and communities who are paying for the world’s fossil fuel addiction with their lives and livelihoods. Multiple UNFCCC constituencies—representing youth, women and gender, trade unions, and the climate justice movement—have called on the UNFCCC to finally pass an Accountability Framework that ends the ability of Big Polluters to unduly influence and undermine the global response to climate change. Yet despite this united demand, and as the climate crisis is being experienced all around the world, world governments continue to treat the UNFCCC as an industry PR stunt and corporate trade show, despite the clear warnings delivered by the IPCC.  

No COP overseen by a fossil fuel executive can be seen as legitimate. COP Presidencies must be free and independent of fossil fuel influence. It’s time for the UNFCCC to deliver the long overdue equitable phaseout of fossil fuels. Critically, addressing the real problem of polluting interests only begins here. In addition, we demand:

  1. Big Polluters cannot write the rules. Big Polluters must not be allowed to unduly influence climate policymaking. This allows them to continue weaken and undermine the global response to climate change, and it’s why we are on the brink of extinction. The UNFCCC must urgently establish an Accountability Framework, including a regime-wide conflict-of-interest policy, that systematically ends this corporate capture. 
  2. No more Big Polluters’ bankrolling climate action. No Big Polluter partnership or sponsorships of climate talks or climate action. Not now. Not ever. Major polluters must not be allowed to greenwash themselves and literally buy their way out of culpability for a crisis they have caused. The UNFCCC will always fail to deliver so long as this is deemed acceptable.
  3. Polluters out and People in. While civil society has always participated in the COP process, governments have made it more difficult each time for non-governmental organizations and climate justice movements to have their voices heard. We need equitable, meaningful inclusion of civil society. Climate action must center the leadership and lived experience of the people, especially those on the frontlines of the climate crisis. With frontline communities in the lead, we must end the funding and validation of dangerous distractions and false solutions that promote Big Polluters’ profits, enable their abuses, and guarantee decades more of fossil fuel use.
  4. Reset the system to protect people and the planet, not Big Polluters. Big Polluters are destroying life as we know it. It’s time to build a new way of living and collaborating that works for people, not polluters, and that restores, rather than destroys, nature. We need real, just, accountable, gender responsive, community-led, nature-restoring, and proven and transformative solutions to be implemented rapidly and justly. We need a total and equitable transition off of fossil fuels. We need real solutions that center the rights of Indigenous peoples, local communities, women, workers, and the protection of those speaking up for justice. We need an end to the impunity of corporate abuses.

Year after year, the UNFCCC has failed to deliver the needed climate equity and action to end the era of fossil fuels, and to rapidly and justly transition to a new global system. 2023 needs to be a breakthrough year. Will the UNFCCC keep undermining its own credibility and continue to avoid addressing the core driver of the climate crisis—fossil fuels?  Or will it continue to give its executives a seat at the head of the table? 


UNFCCC Constituencies:

Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice - DCJ

Climate Action Network - CAN

Women and Gender Constituency

Trade Union NGOs (TUNGO)


Organizational endorsements:

Launching organizations:

Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development

Center for Biological Diversity

Climate Justice Programme

Corporate Accountability

Corporate Europe Observatory

Culture Unstained

Friends of the Earth International

Global Forest Coalition


IBON International

Indigenous Environmental Network

Reclame Fossielvrij

Social Tippingpoint Coalition

Union of People Affected by Chevron-Texaco – UDAPT



ActionAid International


Africans Rising

Alliance for the future Generation 

Alt in MH

Amazon Watch

Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID)

Center for International Environmental Law

Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy

Christian Aid


Climate & Sustainability

Climate Clock 

Cyrog Enterprise Ltd

Debt Justice UK

Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN)

Dorcas Aid International 

EarthRights International




Education International 

EnGen Collaborative



Fòs Feminista

Fuerza Mundial Global

Fundación Quantum

GAIA - Global Alliance for Incinerator Alterntatives

Gallifrey Foundation


Global Forest Coalition

Global Inititive for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Global Network of Civil Society Organisation for Disaster Reduction


Heinrich Boell Stiftung Washington, DC

ICO "Environment - People - Law" (EPL)

IICAT The International Institute of Climate Action & Theory

International Climate Justice Program, Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung (RLS)

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)

International helping for young 

International Network for Sustainable Energy (INFORSE)

International Trade Union Confederation

International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA)

International Youth Task Force for Climate Change, Epidemics & Natural Disaster 

IWRAW Asia Pacific 


Margaret Pyke Trust

medico international

MenEngage Global Alliance


Oil Change International


Parents For Future Global

Peoples Rising for Climate Justice

Plastic Free Campus

Polar Educators International

Population Connection 

Practical Action Americas

Razom We Stand

Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary NGO at the UN

SHE Changes Climate


SMC - Faith in Development

Stay Grounded Network


The Institute for Climate Policy Solutions (ICPS)

Their Voices for Climate

Third World Network


Transparency International

Tropenbos International


War on Want

Water Justice and Gender

We Effect 

WECF International

Women Deliver

Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN)

Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO)

World Animal Protection

World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts

YouthNet for Climate Justice



Aalem for Orphan and Vulnerable Children, Inc.

AbibiNsroma Foundation 

Actions pour la Réinsertion Sociale de la Femme "ARSF"

Actions pour le Développement, l'Education et la Santé, ADESA RDC


Africa Farmers Media Centre

Africa Institute for Energy Governance

Africa Youth Coalition Against Hunger Sierra Leone

Akina Mama wa Afrika

Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union (ATGWU)


Associacao comunitaria Emmanuel

Association de Sauvegarde de la Nature et de l'Environnement et du Développement Durable à Nefza (ASNEDDN)

Association pour le respect du droit des populations autochtones, du développement durable et du droit de l'homme (ARPA2DH)

Baray tagui


Cameroon Gender and Environment Watch-CAMGEW

Candles Association for Equality / Morocco

Centre for 21st Century Issues

Centre for Citizens Conserving Environment & Management (CECIC)

Centre for community Against Human Trafficking (CIAHT)

Centre for Emergency and Development Support

Centre pour la Justice Environnementale - Togo

Citizens network for community development Zambia 

Civil Society Action Coalition on Disaster Mitigation 

Civil Society Organisation HINA Plateform 

Cleannation Foundation

Climate Action Network Africa (CAN Africa)


Collectif Sénégalais des Africaines pour la Promotion de l: Education Relative à l'Environnement (COSAPERE)

Community Agenda Support 

Community Technology Development Trust

Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa

Disaster Risk Management in Africa - DRM Africa


Economic Empowerment and Human Rights Sierra Leone 

Economic Justice Network Sierra Leone

Educating Girls and Young Women for Development-EGYD 

Elizka Relief Foundation 

Endorois Welfare Council (EWC)

Entreprise Forward and Fellow alumni of Women Deliver

Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria


Fridays for Future Kajiado

Fridays For Future Kenya

Fridays for Future Uganda


GenderCC Southern Africa

Geo-Environmental Research Agency for Development (GERAD-LIBERIA) INC 

Green Living Movement 


Humanitaire pour un developpement social et societale "Sitroul-abde"

Innovative Hub for Inclusiveness, Empowerment and Social Development (SieDi-Hub)

International helping for young 

Jigawa State Government

Joint Initiatives For Vulnerables Support

Karamoja Go Green

Kikandwa Environmental Association



Lelewal Foundation 

Les Ecocitoyens

Movement For Education And Advocacy Network Salone 


Natural Justice

Natural Resource Women Platform


Noble Delta Women for Peace and Development Intl. 


Parents for Future Nigeria

Pathways for Women's Empowerment and Development (PaWED) Cameroon 

Powering Young Initiatives 



Regional Centre for International Development Cooperation - RCIDC 

Rise to Inspire Africa Initiative 


SHE Changes Climate

Sierra Leone School Green Clubs (SLSGC)

Simma Africa Creative Arts Foundation

Somaliland Climate Action Initiative {SOCAI}

Spring of the arid and semi-arid lands (SASAL)

Support for Women in Agriculture and Environment (SWAGEN)

Sustainable Development Institute 


Union pour la Promotion/Protection, la Défense des Droits Humains et de l'Environnement-UPDDHE/GL

Vision for Alternative Development - VALD Ghana

Women for a Change 

You-lean Chad 



Asia & Pacific Japan


Active Citizens Pacific

AGHAM Advocates of Science and Technology for the People

Alliance for Future Generations 

Anne's Christian Community Health School and Nursing Services 



Association For Promotion Sustainable Development

Australian Council of Trade Unions

Bangladesh Model Youth Parliament (Protiki Jubo Sangshad)

Barokupot Ganochetona Foundation -BGF 

BIMBA (Kiribati)

Blue Dlian

Bougainville Women’s Federation 

CADME (Coastal Area Disaster Mitigation Efforts)

Centre for Social Policy Development 

Climate Action Network Japan

Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality


Fiji Women's Rights Movement (FWRM) 

FoE Japan

Friends of the Earth Australia

Friends of the Siberian Forests

Ganochetona Bangladesh 

Good Food Community

Grameena Vikas Samithi-GVS.

Grata Fund

Health Care Without Harm Southeast Asia

House of Colors

IDEAS For Nepal

Indian National Trade Union Congress-INTUC

Integrated Development Society Nepal

International Trade Union Confederation - Asia Pacific

International Women's Development Agency

Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment

Kapul Champions Inc.

Kdadalak Sulimutuk Institute 

Korea Federation for Environmental Movement



Living All Inclusive In Belau Organization 

Lok Shakti Abhiyan

Motto to Empower Health, Education & Rights

Na i Soqosoqo Vakamarama i Taukei

National Campaign for Sustainable Development Nepal

National Fisheries Solidarity Movement

National Forum for Advocacy Nepal (NAFAN)

NDF Pakistan 

Nepalese Space Research Association(NESRA))

NGO Forum on ADB

NTFP EP Philippines

NZEI Te Riu Roa

Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee

Papua New Guinea Teachers Association 

Rainbow Pride Foundation Fiji

Roots for Equity

Rural Area Development Programme (RADP)

Save & Plant Trees 


Shifting the Power Coalition & Pacific Island Feminist Alliance for Climate Justice

Social Economic Development Society [SEDS]


Tebtebba Foundation

The Climate Reality Project Japan


Tuvalu Climate Action Network

Vanuatu Human Rights Coalition

Vanuatu Young Women For Change

Vatu Mauri Consortium 

Victorian Trades Hall Council

Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines

Youth Association for Development (YAD) Pakistan 

Youth Strike 4 Climate Philippines





Agora Association 

Alliance Sud

Asociación Española de Educación Ambiental 

Black Sea Women's Club


Campaign against Climate Change

Catholic Agency for Overseas Development

CCFD - Terre Solidaire


Climate 2025

Climate Emergency UK



Co-ordination Office of the Austrian Bishop's Conference for International Development and Mission (KOO)


Confederacion Sindical Comisiones Obreras España (CCOO)


Deutsche Umwelthilfe

Earth Minutes

Eco Action Families

Ecologistas en Acción

Element Four

Extinction Rebellion


Food and Water Action Europe

FridaysForFuture Thessaloniki 

Friends of the Earth Cyprus 

Friends of the Earth Europe

Friends of the Earth Germany/ BUND

Friends of the Earth Ireland 

Friends of the Earth Malta

Friends of the Earth Norway (Naturvernforbundet)


Global Justice Now

Global Witness

Grands-parents pour le cliamt/ Klima-Grosseltern Schweiz

Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE)

Green Thought Association



Klimadelegation e.V.

Kmelnytskyi energy cluster 

Landelijk Netwerk Bossen- en

Les Amis de la Terre France


Money Rebellion

Mosaïque Bretagne

NEU Climate Change Network 

NGO Ekoltava 

Observatori DESC

Parents for future 

Parents for Future - West London

Parents For Future Austria 

Parents for Future Italy

Parents for future Scotland 

Parents for Future Sweden

Parents for Future Tortona

Parents for Future UK

Parents for future Waldviertel 

Planète Amazone

Rapid Transition Alliance


Rodzice dla Klimatu - Parents For Future Poland

Scottish Sustainable Schools Network 

SHE Changes Climate

Shine Coaching and Consultancy



The Movements Trust




UK Schools Sustainability Network 

UK Youth Climate Coalition

Unión General de Trabajadoras y Trabajadores (UGT)

University & College Union 



Vanguard SOS UK


ZERO - Associação Sistema Terrestre Sustentável

Zero Waste Society


Latin America & Caribbean

5 Elementos - Instituto de Educação para Sustentabilidade 

Associação de Mulheres, agricultores, artesãos e amigos do Quilombo Santa Justina Santa Izabel - RJ do quil

Associação de Preservação do Meio Ambiente e da Vida - Apremavi

Casa del Protector Marcahuasi 

Centro de Estudios Heñói

CESTA Friends of the Earth El Salvador

Coalición Ecuménica por el Cuidado de la Creación 

Coalición Evangélica por la Justicia Climática

Coalición Nacional por la Tierra - Argentina

Colectiva Zurciendo el planeta 

Colectivo CASA 

Colectivo VientoSur 

CPOOEM-Coordinadora de Pueblos y Organizaciones del Oriente del Estado de México en Defensa de la Tierra, el Agua y su Cultura 

Derecho Ambiente y Recursos Naturales

ECOMUNIDADES, Red Ecologista Autónoma de la Cuenca de México


Entraide et Fraternité

Familias Pelo Clima

FirecircleTT To End ALL Abuse 

Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (FARN)

Fundacion Plurales

Iepé - Instituto de Pesquisa e Formação Indigena 

Instituto de Estudos Socioeconômicos - Inesc 

Instituto de Referência Negra Peregum 

Instituto Ecologica

Instituto Internacional de Educacao do Brasil

IPÊ - Institute for Ecological Research

La Ruta del Clima


Memoria Indígena

Movimiento Ciudadano frente al Cambio Climatico

Nós na Criação

Observatorio de Ecología Política de Venezuela 

Observatório do Clima (Climate Observatory)

Otros Cruces 

Paz y Esperanza Ecuador


Project on Organizing, Development, Education, and Research (PODER)

RCA. Rede de Cooperação Amazônica 

Reaccion Climatica 

Red de Estudios y Empoderamiento Afrodescendiente RedAfros 

Red Latinoamericana por Justicia Económica y Social - LATINDADD


Salvaginas Colectiva Ecofeminista 

Sociedad civil Amigos del Viento meteorologia ambiente desarrollo 

Taller Ecologista 

The Breadfruit Collective 

Voces de Tibet 


Middle East

Arab Watch Coalition 

Arab Youth Climate Movement-Lebanon 


Dibeen For Environmental Development


For bright yemen organization for development

Kazdagi Association for The Protection of Natural and Cultural Assets

Parents For Climate - Israel 

RAWSA Alliance for African and Arab States

Youth For Climate Turkey


North America

Accelerate Neighborhood Climate Action

198 methods

350 PDX

350 Triangle


Action Enivronnement Basses-Laurentides, Québec 

Animals Are Sentient Beings Inc

Athens County's Future Action Network

Beyond Extreme Energy


Black Parents United Foundation

Businesses for a Livable Climate

Call to Action Colorado

Canton Residents for a Sustainable Equitable Future

CatholicNetwork US

Center for Constitutional Rights 

Citizen's Alliance for a Sustainable Englewood

Citizens Climate Lobby Lancaster

Clean Energy Action

Climate Action for Lifelong Learners (CALL)

Climate Action Network - Réseau action climat Canada

Climate Families NYC

Climate Generation

Climate Hawks Vote

Climate Justice Alliance


Colorado Businesses for a Livable Climate


Community for Sustainable Energy

Continental Network of Indígenous Women of the Americas, North Region

Defend Our Future

Empower Our Future

Environmental Defence Canada

Families for a Livable Climate

Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada (Office for Systemic Justice)

Friends of the Earth Canada

Friends of the Earth US

Front commun pour la transition énergétique

Grandmothers Advocacy Network

Grassroots Global Justice Alliance 

Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance

Green 13

Green House Collaboration Center

Indivisible Ambassadors

Institute for Policy Studies Climate Policy Program

Interstate 70 Citizens Advisory Group

Larimer Alliance for Health, Safety & Environment

Le Centre Oblat - A Voice for Justice

Littleton Business Alliance

Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Mayfair Park Neighborhood Association Board

Mental Health & Inclusion Ministries

Montbello Neighborhood Improvement Association

Nature Québec

North Central Washington Climate Advocates

North Range Concerned Citizens

Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS)

OC Sierra Club Climate Action Team

Office of Religious Congregations for Integral Ecology


RapidShift Network

Save the Environmental Protection Agency

Southwest Organization for Sustainability

Spirit of the Sun

System Change Not Climate Change

Talk Climate 

Texas Campaign for the Environment

The Climate Reality Project Canada

The Parents' Climate Community

Third Act Ohio

Unite North Metro Denver

Wall of Women

West Vallehy Neighborhoods Coalition

Western Slope Businesses for a Livable Climate

Womxn from the Mountain

Working for Racial Equity



Online Knowledge Society

Research-Intellectual Club "Dialogue of Generations"

Realizing Sexual and Reproductive Justice (RESURJ)

Women United Together Marshall Islands

Fiji Youth SRHR Alliance 

DIVA Central Hub


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