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Photo Credit: Christopher Pike/Bloomberg via Getty Images 

A new report from Centre for Climate Reporting, reveals that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) considered changing the name of its state-owned oil company, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), to remove the word “oil” and promote a greener image before hosting the Cop28 climate summit.

Adnoc, led by Dr Sultan Al Jaber, who is also the Cop28 president, aims to position itself as a provider of low-carbon energy and a contributor to sustainable energy. The leaked documents reveal that Adnoc is aware of the challenges posed by its brand name and wants to enhance its reputation.

Adnoc has been engaged in a public relations effort to modernize its image and present itself as an innovative and forward-thinking energy company. It has worked with advertising agencies and PR firms to shape its transformation story and attract international investment.

It has faced criticism for Al Jaber’s appointment as Cop28 president, as he comes from the fossil fuel industry. The leaked documents also highlight Adnoc’s efforts to balance Al Jaber’s reputation as a change agent with his image as a community-oriented leader.

Adnoc has pursued partnerships, engaged influencers, and organized events to promote its initiatives and technological advancements. However, critics argue that the name change and rebranding are merely attempts to extend the company’s reputation as the oil industry faces increasing scrutiny. It has emphasized its role in the energy transition and set sustainability goals, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Despite considering a name change, Adnoc has decided not to proceed with it at present, but the possibility remains open for the future. The leaked documents mention other oil companies, such as Equinor and Total, that have undergone rebranding to reflect their efforts towards a greener image, although their actual oil and gas production activities continue. 

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