July 12, 2024

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Hedge Fund Veteran Slams Green ‘Echo Chamber’ After Closing Firm

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(Bloomberg) — Jeff Ubben, the veteran hedge fund manager who’s just closed his sustainable investing firm, is calling out what he’s dubbed the “echo chamber” of traditional climate summitry.

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The 62-year-old, whose Inclusive Capital Partners told clients last week it was selling investments and returning their money after not being “rewarded” by markets, said he’s worried about what he describes as entrenched points of view preventing progress in climate talks.

The tone has historically has been “so divisive,” Ubben said in an interview. “We all need to work together.”

Ubben has long been an advocate of bringing big oil to the table. He joined Exxon Mobil Corp.’s board in 2021, the same year as activist fund Engine No. 1 secured three seats. He’s now on the advisory committee of COP28 in Dubai, which is hosting more oil executives than any other United Nations climate summit.

The setting of this year’s Conference of the Parties has drawn warnings from climate activists that the event risks becoming a deal-making venue for oil majors and the finance industry, with such vested interests compromising a strong final climate agreement. This year’s COP will likely be the best-attended ever, with more than 100,000 delegates, according to a provisional list compiled by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. That’s roughly twice as many as attended last year’s COP in Egypt.

Read More: Citi, HSBC Top Record List of Bank Executives Going to COP Talks

Sultan Al Jaber, president of the COP28 summit and head of the United Arab Emirates’ national oil company, Adnoc, has denied reports that he’s using his position at the talks to strike oil and gas deals. He also says he wants as many interests as possible represented to ensure a “successful” outcome.

On Saturday, Exxon was one of 50 oil and gas producers at COP28 to pledge to cut emissions from their own operations. Darren Woods, the first Exxon…

2023-12-03 11:00:00

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