HOUSTON: Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, President of COP28, received an award today from CERAWeek by S&P Global, the world’s premier energy conference, recognising his leadership in sustainable energy.

Dr. Al Jaber received the ‘CERAWeek Leadership Award for Building Global Consensus towards a Sustainable Energy Future’ in recognition of delivering the UAE Consensus, which has emerged as the defining point of reference for global climate action, giving clear direction to countries on how to keep 1.5°C within reach, transforming agreements into tangible outcomes, and ensuring global implementation.

Dr. Al Jaber was presented the award by Daniel Yergin, Vice Chairman of S&P Global and CERAWeek Conference Chair, to recognise the COP28 President’s extraordinary act of leadership which will have a global impact.

Daniel Yergin said, “The UAE Consensus that emerged from Dubai outlined pathways, never so concrete, for governments and industries to work together to achieve what is nothing short of a historic transformation of the world’s energy systems. Dr. Sultan emphasised inclusiveness and engagement as the necessary foundation for climate solutions. This was not easy to implement. But in succeeding Dr. Sultan established a new vector for future COPs.”

“On behalf of my leadership and the people of the United Arab Emirates, I am deeply honoured to accept this award for the UAE Consensus,” Dr. Al Jaber, who attended the conference virtually, said in his acceptance speech.

Over the last decade, CERAWeek by S&P Global has honoured the following individuals for extraordinary acts of leadership with global impact: Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India; Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada; and Enrique Peña Nieto, former President of Mexico.

Multilateralism, inclusivity, and the spirit of partnership, which were at the core of the COP28 conference, were key to achieving the UAE Consensus. The UAE Consensus delivered a series of firsts, including a commitment from all Parties to transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly and equitable manner, and also set time-bound targets to triple global renewable energy capacity and double energy capacity by 2030.

“In a world too often held back by conflict, the UAE Consensus brought nations together to take a giant step forward for climate progress,” Dr. Al Jaber said. “Countries set aside self-interest for the common goal of keeping 1.5°C within reach. And multilateralism overcame geopolitics to produce an unprecedented agreement for a fair, orderly and responsible energy transition.

Dr. Al Jaber credited the spirit of climate actionism and optimism that COP28 UAE inspired, by bringing every actor to the table to help deliver results, from private and public sectors, civil society and faith leaders, youth and Indigenous Peoples. “In short, COP28 was a success because of its full inclusivity. Everyone had a seat at the table. Everyone was invited to contribute, and everyone’s contribution was welcome, including those from industry, and in particular, the oil and gas industry,” he told the attendees.

Dr. Al Jaber emphasised that the oil and gas sector is a critical player in addressing climate change. During COP28 the Presidency launched the Oil and Gas Decarbonisation Charter (OGDC), with signatories aligning around net-zero emissions by or before 2050, zero-out methane emissions by 2030, eliminate routine flaring by 2030, and continue working towards industry best practices in emission reduction.

So far 52 companies, representing almost 40 percent of global oil production, have signed up. National Oil Companies (NOCs) represent over 60 percent of signatories – the largest-ever number of NOCs to commit to a decarbonisation initiative – alongside international oil companies (IOCs).

“At last year’s CERAWeek I delivered a clear call to action for oil and gas to step up. In fact, I said, ‘Houston, we have a problem’. Today, I am pleased to say that in Dubai at COP28 this industry proved that they are essential to the solution, and can actually drive it,” he said.

Dr. Al Jaber welcomed the “good news” that the China National Petroleum Corporation, which represents 3.8 percent of global oil production, will soon join the OGDC, increasing the ratio of oil production represented to 44 percent. “This is major progress – but it is not enough,” he said. “My message to other IOCs and NOCs is, what’s keeping you? It is time to step up, sign up and join us in this very important journey.”

“If the world is going to meet its climate and development goals, every stakeholder has a vital role to play,” he added. “All countries must adopt ambitious economy-wide Nationally Determined Contributions.”

Dr. Al Jaber indicated that the roadmap of the UAE Consensus must be met with “smart policies to commercialise clean technologies”, which should be coupled with financing. A core priority of the COP28 Presidency is to scale up climate finance and help to mobilise the resources required to make finance more accessible, available and affordable, he added, “We need finance at every level to ensure renewable energy capacity is tripled by 2030 and that the Global South is not left behind. We must leverage the promise of advanced technology and Artificial Intelligence to transform energy efficiency.”

The COP28 President said the task at hand should not be underestimated. “Let’s keep in mind the sheer size of the energy system we are replacing - over 260 million equivalent barrels of oil, gas and coal consumed every day. There is just no avoiding the fact that the energy transition will take time. It will happen in different places at different paces. And we need a responsible approach ensuring energy security alongside sustainability every step of the way.”

An economist by training, and the first Chief Executive to become COP President, Dr. Al Jaber also stressed that the energy transition presents a huge opportunity which makes business and climate sense. He said: “The task is massive. But so is the opportunity. And the people in this room have the engineering know-how, the capability, the talent, the technology and the resources to help address this challenge and create a pathway for decarbonised growth.

“The UAE Consensus provides the roadmap. Together, we must produce the results. And let’s change the mindset that views climate action as a burden into one that sees it as a huge socio-economic opportunity."