UAE-owned firm hires lobbyists to deflect local weather talks criticism

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A state-owned firm within the United Arab Emirates has employed a workforce of lobbyists to defend the nation’s work in internet hosting this 12 months’s UN local weather summit after criticism from environmentalists and politicians.

Public relations agency First Worldwide Sources will obtain a month-to-month retainer of £100,000 for six months to strengthen the UAE’s status amongst “Western audiences”, in accordance with a duplicate of its contract filed with the US Division of Justice below lobbying guidelines for international brokers, which was revealed by the DoJ this month.

The agency has been employed by the UAE’s state-owned renewables firm Masdar, the contract mentioned. Masdar is chaired by COP28 president-designate Sultan al-Jaber, who can be head of the petrostate’s oil firm.

First Worldwide’s purpose is to “inoculate” COP28 and Jaber from “any potential criticism” and drum up assist from “politically influential people”, the contract mentioned. The agency specialises in disaster communications, in accordance with its web site.

In addition to performing as a “private sounding board” to Jaber, the consultancy will reply to and deflect destructive press reviews. The contract was first reported by Politico.

Virtually 200 nations and as much as 80,000 individuals are anticipated to attend COP28 in Dubai in November, when world politicians will try and hash out an settlement on efforts to deal with local weather change.

Jaber’s appointment as COP28 president had “generated predictable pushback from Greens within the West”, the First Worldwide contract mentioned. In Might, greater than 100 western politicians referred to as for the UAE to take away Jaber from the position.

However Jaber, an engineer by background who’s trusted by Abu Dhabi’s management as one among its simplest technocrats, has obtained continued assist from others, together with US local weather envoy John Kerry and the EU.

Final month Jaber mentioned he hoped COP28 would goal to achieve a deal on tripling renewable power capability by 2030 and reforming local weather finance — a plan that was broadly welcomed by politicians and a few distinguished local weather campaigners. However environmentalists have criticised it, saying it doesn’t go far sufficient in tackling local weather change.

The UAE has additionally been criticised for its position as a fossil gasoline producer, and over issues about its human rights document.

Based on the contract, FIR will survey most people and “elite” audiences within the US, France, Germany, the UK, Spain and three different nations. It would use the outcomes to generate a “proactive instructional marketing campaign” and affect elected officers.

It would search to enlist “politically influential people and teams” to “additional bolster COP28’s total picture and pursuits”. The contract listed the World Financial Discussion board, the Carnegie Endowment for Worldwide Peace and the Middle for Strategic and Worldwide Research among the many think-tanks it may goal.

The contract additionally mentioned the consultancy “may additionally activate or mobilise our connections contained in the ‘US Jewish Institution’ to assist assist the marketing campaign’s total goals”, in addition to utilizing its affect to arrange conferences with key members of the US Congress and the administration of US president Joe Biden.

The appointment is the most recent step within the UAE’s bid to bolster its environmental profile. It has additionally employed David Canzini, a former aide to ex-UK prime minister Boris Johnson, to offer strategic counsel.

COP28, Masdar and First Worldwide Sources didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

 

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