Greta Thunberg SKIPS Cop28 climate conference where strict rules on protests are enforced

Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg said she doesn't want to be associated with the event

George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 04/12/2023

- 09:56

Updated: 04/12/2023

- 09:57

The activist has criticised the climate conference for being held in an oil exporting nation

Greta Thunberg has skipped this year's Cop28 conference amid a suppression on protest in Dubai.

The climate activist has slammed the organisers for choosing to host it in the United Arab Emirates.

Speaking earlier this year, she said it was “completely ridiculous” that Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber, chief executive of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), is presiding over the next round of global climate talks.

The 20 year old has been vocal against the climate conventions, after criticising Cop27 which was held in Sharm El Sheikh last year. She had regularly attended prior conventions.

Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg


US state department’s annual country report on the Emirates said that protest is normally prohibited.

Speaking about why she did not attend last year's conference, she said: "The space for civil society is going to be extremely limited.

"It's important to leave space for those who need to be there. It will be difficult for activists to make their voices heard."

She had previously attended protests at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland earlier this year.

COP28 sign

Cop28 is taking place in the UAE


She said that leaders at Davos are “fuelling the destruction of the planet” by investing in fossil fuels and prioritising short-term profits over people affected by the climate crisis.

Earlier this year Thunberg demanded fossil fuel bosses immediately stop opening any new fossil fuel extraction sites.

A “cease and desist” order, signed by Thunberg, and fellow activists said oil companies have known for decades that fossil fuels cause climate breakdown,

She accused energy companies of misleading the public and deceiving politicians.

A Cop28 spokesperson insisted al-Jaber, who founded renewable energy firm Masdar in 2006, was “uniquely qualified to deliver a successful Cop28”.

The Cop28 spokesperson said: "Dr Sultan is an energy expert and founder of one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, a senior business leader, a government minister and a climate diplomat with over 20 years of experience of taking climate action."

Both King Charles III and Rishi Sunak addressed the conference in Dubai last week.

However, Dr Sultan caused fury when he claimed there was "no science" to suggest phasing out fossil fuels will help limit global warming to 1.5C.

You may like