Saudi Oil Chief Leaves as UN Prepares for Climate Talks

After the post-Paris celebrations and ‘back-slapping’, global climate change negotiations will start again on May 16, 2016 in Bonn, as countries try to work out what the 2015 UN agreement really entails.

As representatives from small island states and least developed countries arrive in the former West German capital to talk tactics this week, a plan for the talks – written by officials from France and Morocco – underlines the need for progress on climate finance and clean technology sharing before 2020.

Countries will also need to work out how a proposed 2018 global stocktake will work.

Vis-à-vis the meeting in Bonn, Ali Al-Naimi, who was relieved of his role as Saudi Arabia’s oil chief over the weekend, will be absent. Al-Naimi was a familiar face at climate talks, where he led Riyadh’s delegation, and in recent years showed signs the Kingdom would take climate change seriously.  He plans to devote more of his time to his role in his country’s Science and Technology University, where he explores post-oil pathways.

His successor will be Khalid Al-Falih, chair of Saudi Aramco and a confidante of King Salman and Prince Mohammed.



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