An undercover sting operation by the Centre for Climate Reporting has exposed a Saudi government plan to artificially raise global oil demand, just days before the COP28 summit. A team posing as oil investors spoke to officials from Saudi Arabia’s Oil Sustainability Programme, or OSP, who admitted to targeting Africa and Asia with oil and diesel products under a program controlled by the Saudi Ministry of Energy. Their investigation aired as part of a report on Channel 4 News.
Narrator: “An extraordinary admission from the Saudis that they’re trying to artificially raise oil demand in a climate crisis.”
David George: “My impression is that with the issues of climate change, there’s a risk of kind of declining oil demand, so the OSP has kind of been set up to artificially stimulate demand?”
Nawaf Al-Fallaj: “Yes, it is one of the aspects that we are trying to do. It’s one of the main objectives that we are trying to accomplish.”
Mohamed Adow, the director of the climate and energy think tank Power Shift Africa, said in response, “The Saudi government is like a drug dealer that is trying to get Africa hooked on its harmful products. The rest of the world is weaning itself off dirty and polluting fossil fuels, and Saudi Arabia is getting desperate for more customers and is turning its sights on Africa.”
In related news, documents obtained by the Centre for Climate Reporting have revealed the COP28 host, the United Arab Emirates, planned to use the climate talks as an opportunity to strike oil and gas deals with 15 nations.