I try to avoid airing dirty industry laundry but today will make an exception. With COP 28 being hosted in Dubai, we knew we were going to get fed some hearty bullshit, but these last few weeks’ events are truly unpalatable.
Edelman – the biggest PR firm in the world, and one that would gladly market bags of glass to small children were the retainer high enough – featured prominently at COP 28, repping the UAE itself and several oil and gas players. This comes as no surprise from the firm that worked hard to repair MBS’ reputation following the murder of The Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi, an American. The hypocrisy reached a greenwashing apex when COP 28 President Sultan Al Jaber said there is “no science” indicating that a phase-out of fossil fuels is needed to restrict global heating to 1.5C.
As the world’s leaders (a status many have inherited, not earned) hop on private jets to fly to an oil-rich country and make promises they never intend to keep, the line between us and them has never been more clear. The institutions have failed us once again, and you can expect certain governments, big PR firms and those born into wealth to continue to pull the strings for as long as we let them. In the end, it will be up to the pioneers, including the many well-meaning participants at COP 28, and the public to correct course and aid Mother Earth.
But, there is good news amid the bad. Per the HEATED article (link below) there were 2,456 fossil fuel interests at this year’s U.N. climate summit, nearly four times more than any past year. They know the clean energy transition has arrived, and they’re running scared, holding fiercely onto the power and wealth they feel they’re entitled to. This and the many innovators working tirelessly to create climate solutions are what give me hope for the road ahead! As the great Hunter S. Thompson once wrote, it’s time to nail these bastards to their own front door.
Read up! This is the news the real climate tech PR firms out there are reading.
https://www.adweek.com/agencies/how-pr-firms-greenwashed-the-uns-biggest-climate-talks/ from Kathryn Lundstrom
https://theintercept.com/2023/10/25/cop28-uae-oil-climate-sultan-al-jaber/ from Ben Stockton and Amy Westervelt
https://heated.world/p/its-official-cop28-has-more-fossil? from Arielle Samuelson