The Guardian has revealed that the United Arab Emirates’ state oil company, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), has been able to read emails, to and from the Cop28 climate summit office.

The UAE is set to host the UN climate summit in November with Cop28 President, Sultan Al Jaber, who is also serving as the Chief Executive of Adnoc.

The Cop28 office had previously claimed that its email system was “standalone” and “separate” from that of Adnoc, but expert technical analysis showed that the office shared email servers with Adnoc.

In addition to being the head of Adnoc, Al Jaber chairs Masdar, a renewable energy company, and was the UAE climate envoy from 2010 to 2016.

Explosive Revelations and Strong Criticisms:

The revelations have been described as “explosive” and a “scandal” by lawmakers.

Al Jaber’s dual role has attracted strong criticism, including from Christiana Figueres, the former UN climate chief, who called his approach “dangerous”.

The French MEP, Manon Aubry, likened the situation to having a tobacco multinational overseeing the work of the World Health Organization.

Pascoe Sabido at Corporate Europe, described the revelations as outrageous and called Al Jaber’s appointment “a huge blow to the credibility” of the UN’s climate body.

The Cop28 office’s response to The Guardian’s inquiries contained the text “Adnoc classification: internal,” which led to the discovery that Adnoc had been consulted on how to respond to a media inquiry.

The revelations highlight the influence of fossil fuel companies in shaping what gets presented to the outside world.

Calls for Change:

The Guardian’s findings have been described as “explosive” and have led to calls for change.

Bas Eickhout, Member of the European Parliament, called for Al Jaber to be replaced as Cop28 president and mentioned the UNFCCC secretariat “should now take more control of the entire process” and better reflect the statements made by the UN secretary general António Guterres, who has warned that the climate crisis has put the world on a “highway to hell”.

Sheldon Whitehouse, the US senator who also co-led the letter calling for the removal of Al Jaber, said that “there’s too much at stake for the planet to get this wrong.”