If you want to change the world for the better, you must be prepared to contribute yourself. It could mean participating in COP28, which will occur at Expo City Dubai from November 30 to December 12. At the beginning of COP28, UAE welcomes over 500 policymakers, business leaders and philanthropists from the world when it hosts the Business and Philanthropy Climate Forum on December 1–2.

The forum will address key climate priorities related to the COP28 Action Agenda, which includes fast-tracking, a just and orderly energy transition, climate finance, putting nature, lives and livelihoods at the heart of climate action, and underpinning everything with total inclusivity.

Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al-Jaber is the CEO of Adnoc, one of the biggest oil companies in the world. He is also chairman of one of the UAE’s largest clean energy initiatives, which is building a sustainable city: Masdar.

In addition, he is the COP28 President-designate and will lead the climate summit when the world gathers to negotiate how rampant climate change will be slowed.

“To disrupt business as usual and fix climate finance, we need action from everyone. I will strive to build consensus amongst parties to drive climate action,” says Sultan bin Ahmed Al-Jaber.

But “everyone” is not going to attend COP28. The host country has received strong criticism for appointing the head of an oil company as chairman of the forum. For example, none of Sweden’s largest environmental organisations will attend the summit, referring to reprioritisation. On the other hand, twenty-one of Sweden’s most important companies will be there.

“We want to bring together key stakeholders to work on collective solutions. I am hosting the Business and Philanthropy Climate Forum to deliver concrete outcomes from the private and philanthropic sector that can be presented at the highest levels of COP28,” says Sultan bin Ahmed Al-Jaber.

So far, the UN has received over 39,000 applications from 2,300 civil society organisations. CAN Europe, the largest network for climate associations in Europe, says it has received no signals from its members about any open boycott.

About 70,000 people are expected to attend COP28, including heads of state, government officials, industry leaders and academics.

Ten mangroves will be planted in Abu Dhabi for each summit visitor. The project aims to support the UAE’s Year of Sustainability drive, the UAE National Net Zero initiative and the UAE’s goal of planting 100 million mangroves by 2030.

It is easy to forget that while Western nations had the opportunity to develop their countries for hundreds of years and accelerated their growth, particularly after World War II, with oil and gas that they have either taken by force from developing countries or paid less than what should have been shared with energy-rich nations.

Now, some voices want to stifle the growth of developing countries just when these countries have managed to reduce corruption, achieved more stable government, and reached higher literacy rates.