ABU DHABI: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said that COP28 will be the most important event hosted by the nation in 2023.
His Highness was addressing the UAE Government Annual Meetings, which reviewed the significance of the UAE hosting the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The session was attended by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai; H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Finance; H.H. Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman; H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah; H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah; and H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah.
The session was also attended by H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior; H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court; H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi; H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office; H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and H.H. Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority; and a number of dignitaries, ministers and heads of government departments.
During the session, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change, highlighted the importance of the UAE hosting the Conference of the Parties.
Dr. Al Jaber thanked the vision of the UAE leadership and highlighted the legacy of the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in promoting sustainable development and environmental protection.
He said the determination of the UAE, its strong diplomatic relations with global nations and pragmatic position on climate action, underpinned by proven experience in the energy and sustainability sectors led to the nation securing the international consensus in 2021 to host COP28 in 2023.
“The late Sheikh Zayed laid the foundations of environmental sustainability and climate action that we have built on in the past decades. Today, we have a proven track record of reducing emissions, accelerating the growth of renewable energy and enabling the energy transition,” said Dr. Al Jaber.
He also provided examples of the UAE’s achievements over the years, including stopping gas flaring since the 1970s under the directives of the late Sheikh Zayed.
Dr. Al Jaber said that led by the vision and directives of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Masdar was launched in 2006 as the region’s first renewable energy and sustainability initiative. Today, Masdar has implemented several clean energy projects globally, including a solar-powered desalination project as well as a project to study the feasibility of low wind speed turbines. Dr. Al Jaber said the first phase of the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park was launched in 2013, another testament to the country’s commitment to promoting renewable energy.
Dr. Al Jaber said the UAE was the first country in the region to ratify the Paris Agreement and to announce a strategic initiative to achieve Net Zero by 2050. The UAE also hosts the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency.
Dr. Al Jaber said the UAE has invested more than US$50 billion in clean energy projects in 70 countries including 40 developing nations, and recently announced the UAE-US Partnership to Accelerate the Transition to Clean Energy (PACE). The project will catalyse US$100 billion in financing, investment, and other support and will deploy 100 gigawatts of clean energy globally.
“The COP is a global political, economic, scientific and social platform to achieve commitments to reduce the impact of climate change through negotiations and to assess the progress in climate action,” said Dr. Al Jaber. He added 27 Conferences of the Parties have been held so far, including COP21 which was a milestone moment that witnessed the landmark Paris Agreement.
Dr. Al Jaber stressed that the UAE is committed to advancing climate action based on the outcomes of the past summits, including COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, which made significant progress in many areas including the landmark agreement to establish a ‘Loss and Damage Fund,’ the launch of the Just Energy Transition in the Energy Sector work program and many others.
He said that COP28, which will be hosted in the UAE in 2023 at Expo City Dubai, will be an important global event coinciding with the UAE National Day, adding that the event will welcome high-level participation including over 140 heads of state and government leaders, over 80,000 delegates and more than 5,000 media professionals.
He said the UAE has commenced preparations for hosting the event. A Higher Committee has been formed chaired by H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, to supervise the preparations for COP28.
Dr. Al Jaber said that COP28 is of particular significance as it marks the conclusion of the first Global Stocktake, a comprehensive assessment of the progress made in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Dr Al Jaber said the UAE will focus on finding practical solutions that ensure energy security while reducing emission, adding that the responsibility of leading the negotiations includes a commitment to being a neutral and independent interlocutor to all nations. The presidency also involves formulating the outcomes of the summit and supervising the negotiations to achieve official decisions that will be announced at COP28.
Dr. Sultan Al Jaber said that hosting COP28 is a significant opportunity for the UAE to achieve political and economic benefits for the country, the region, and the world, including finding realistic, practical, and pragmatic solutions to accelerate the global energy transition. He highlighted the role of the UAE in building bridges to advance global efforts that will support the Global South and countries that are most vulnerable.
Concluding his presentation, Dr. Al Jaber reiterated that the success of COP28 is a national responsibility and extended an open invitation to government and private sectors as well as all segments of society to come together in solidarity to host a successful and inclusive global event.
He called on all parties to coordinate in this national event to ensure an exceptional and successful conference.