Dem Donor Runs PR Firm Hired To Spin Bad Press For Gulf State Ahead Of UN Climate Conference, Records Show

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Zev Furst, who has donated over $90,000 to Democratic candidates and organizations since 2008, is the chairman and CEO of a PR firm that the United Arab Emirates has hired to manage its image before it hosts the UN’s COP28 Climate Change Conference later this year, according to Open Secrets data.

Furst is the chairman and CEO of First International Resources (FIR), which the representatives of the UAE retained to “counteract all negative press and media reports” pertaining to the contradictory nature of a major oil producing country hosting an international conference addressing climate change, according to The Washington Post. Furst has donated roughly $92,000 since 2008 to organizations and candidates affiliated with the Democratic Party, according to data from Open Secrets.

The Democratic Party noted in its 2008 party platform that it aimed to “end the tyranny of oil in our time,” a position which it has essentially maintained in every party platform since. Furst appears to not have financially supported any Republican candidates or organizations since 2008, according to the Open Secrets data

COP28 is set to take place in late November and early December, according to a UN website. The conference will attract delegates from all over the world to discuss the world’s progress toward the goals set out in the 2015 Paris Climate Accords, according to COP28’s website.

The UAE and the UN have drawn scrutiny from a range of media outlets that have pointed out the irony of holding a climate conference in a country that is among the ten highest oil producing states in the world, according to the Post, and a 2022 report by the International Trade Administration. The UAE’s government appointed Sultan Al Jaber, who runs the state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, to the presidency of COP28 in January 2023, according to CNN.

Based in New Jersey, FIR will look to “reinforce attitudes among decision makers in Washington, D.C. and across Europe regarding the strategic value of the UAE in the global fight to address climate change,” according to FIR’s filing required under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

The UAE will pay FIR a monthly fee of $100,000, according to the FARA filings. FIR will provide services that include deflecting critical media coverage, improving the reputations of Al Jaber and COP28 to “most effectively inoculate Dr. Al Jaber and COP28 from any potential criticism,” according to the filings.

FIR and representatives for the UN did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

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