Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, COP28 President-Designate, has concluded a two-day trip to Paris as part of his global listening tour.
During his visit, Dr. Al Jaber met with French President Emmanuel Macron and key stakeholders across government and civil society. Dr. Al Jaber outlined his vision to drive climate action through mitigation, adaptation, climate finance and loss and damage.
Throughout his meetings, he emphasized the importance of climate finance and the need to reform multilateral financial institutions to unlock capital for clean technologies, adaptation efforts, and loss and damage financing.
During his meeting with President Macron, Dr. Al Jaber emphasised the need for ambitious reforms across international financial institutions and multilateral development banks.
To build momentum in advance of COP28, Dr. Al Jaber highlighted his desire to work with President Macron on the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact, scheduled to take place in Paris in June 2023. According to Dr. Al Jaber, "This will be a critical milestone ahead of COP28...We need to define clearly how the political momentum generated in June can lead to real action at COP28. This includes an emphasis on mobilizing private finance, scaling up concessional financing, and advancing carbon markets."
Dr. Al Jaber continued his listening tour by meeting with key stakeholders from government and civil society. He met with International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Fatih Birol; Former Prime Minster of France and COP21 President Laurent Fabius; Minister of the Economy, Finance and Recovery for France Bruno Le Maire; and Minister of Energy Agnès Pannier-Runacher. During these meetings, Dr. Al Jaber stressed the need to deploy all necessary resources to transform the global energy systems and deliver on pledges made in 2015 with the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement.
During a special roundtable hosted by the IEA and attended by Ambassadors representing Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries and developing economies, comprising 80 per cent of all global emissions, Dr. Al Jaber emphasized the opportunity for all sectors to come together to deliver progress.
He said: "We need all segments of society – governments, private sector and civil society- working together, driving in the same direction. There is no room for division. Progress is made through partnership, not polarization. I truly believe that we can ignite the greatest leap in human and economic development since the first industrial revolution, if we act together, act smart and act now.”
Dr. Al Jaber also delivered this message of commitment, action and optimism in a roundtable with members of the NGO community. Noting the need for a "bold and transformative course correction", he said: "Our intention is to respond to the Global Stocktake and begin this course correction by delivering on each and every one of the pillars of the Paris Agreement." In ending his remarks, Dr. Al Jaber also called on the NGO community to join with the COP28 Presidency to deliver an effective COP, stating "We want your ideas, your thoughts, your networks, your research, your data and your passion. […] We believe that constructive conversations will help us tackle climate change more effectively and build a better future for all."
Dr. Al Jaber was joined in Paris by Shamma Al Mazrui, UAE Minister of Community Development and COP28 Youth Climate Champion. Shamma met with various stakeholders and emphasized the need for all parties to have a seat at the table and contribute to the COP28 agenda: “What the world needs at COP28 is not just a Conference of the Parties, but a Conference of all Parties. We need everyone to join forces now – from our universities and cities to civil society organizations and nature groups, as well as every single sector of government and industry.”
Dr. Al Jaber's trip to Paris built upon the strong partnership between the UAE and France in the field of energy transformation and climate finance. The UAE and France are collaborating on numerous energy and sustainability projects. In February 2023 the UAE and France launched a partnership to decarbonize high emitting industries, which will be unveiled at COP28. In July 2022 the UAE and France signed the Comprehensive Strategic Energy Partnership (CSEP), which focuses on enhancing energy security, energy affordability and decarbonization, and progressive climate action ahead of COP28.
Dr. Al Jaber's visit to France is the latest in his global listening tour, which has seen the COP28 President-Designate visit the United States, Germany and India. Visits to other countries, including developing countries and small islands states, are also planned. The COP28 Presidency intends to use these visits to hear the views of stakeholders across diverse sectors including government, business, academia and civil society and unite efforts ahead of COP28.