The UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) will serve as a worldwide platform for the UAE to demonstrate its dedication and ‘leave its indelible mark’ in promoting the climate agenda, said a former UAE envoy while speaking on the second day of the 21st Arab Media Forum.
Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Former Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs of the UAE, said "action and investment” will be critical following the United Nation’s Climate Change conference.
Talking about the UAE’s energy diversification, and how the country is rapidly expanding the use of clean energy, he said, “COP28 is among the most important conferences hosted by the UAE. It relates to a cause that concerns the whole world. We are looking at some real milestones and progress. We must maintain a positive perspective when addressing climate and sustainability concerns.”
Gargash explained that the UAE has taken steps over 16 years to develop solar panels on a large scale with its R&D and policy work.
“We are among the biggest when it comes to solar plants. In addition, we operate nuclear power reactors and are also prominent when it comes to wind energy.”
“After the COP27 at Sharm El-Sheikh we also assessed investments in matters related to climate change,” he added.
COP28 to support action in disaster-affected areas
He highlighted the conference also comes in support of international efforts for climate action in the Arab region and Africa particularly after the recent natural calamities in Morocco and Libya, and would leverage for international focus on climate action in these regions that need help.
“I am confident that COP28 will be a significant assembly, tackling the challenges and crises that have arisen in locations such as Libya and various other nations. Our aim is to explore potential solutions for this ‘humanitarian crisis’. COP 28 will undoubtedly stand as another testament to humanity's efforts in addressing these issues, with the UAE making a notable contribution and leaving its stamp,” he added.
International reports apparently indicate that the countries in the Middle East and North Africa region are most vulnerable to climate change risks, as 60 per cent of the region's population lives in areas that suffer severely from water stress, and 20 million people could be displaced due to climate change.
The former diplomat also pointed out that the UAE's strategy for the conference revolves around the importance of collaborations that evolve outside the scope of formal diplomatic discussions.
“We will see a wide range of perspectives that’ll cover a broad range of topics related to climate change and environmental sustainability, including forest and agriculture.”
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