Oil State Hired Biggest PR Firms To Buff Its Climate Image. It Didn’t Help.

"One of the world’s wealthiest oil states is engaged in a wide-ranging public relations and lobbying campaign to cast itself as an environmental leader before it hosts the United Nations’ next climate talks in November.

But the United Arab Emirates’ efforts are colliding with a barrage of criticism from lawmakers and environmentalists in both the U.S. and Europe, who scoff at the idea that the oil-flush nation is committed to helping shift the world off planet-heating fossil fuels.

Amid the negative headlines, the UAE’s government has signed — and abruptly terminated — long-term contracts with at least two strategic communications firms, even as it offers fat pay packages to veteran PR executives to assist with the effort, according to interviews and Justice Department documents.

The communications offensive, which began as far back as 2019, seeks to persuade U.S. officials and the American public that the Persian Gulf state’s plan to expand oil and gas drilling is compatible with international efforts to slash the use of fossil fuels — the main cause of rising temperatures worldwide."

Corbin Hiar and Zack Colman report for E&E News June 7, 2023.

Source: E&E News, 06/08/2023