Dubai: COP28 is a unique opportunity for a resilient future and a moment in history, according to Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
“Since 2015, we have known that COP28 was going to be a momentous one,” he said. “The world’s first global stocktake is a moment of truth. It must tell us where we are, where we need to go and how you’re getting there.”
He said that COP28 is not just another synthesis report but a ‘moment in history’.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2023, Stiell said that the UAE sits in the ‘heart of a region dramatically impacted by climate change’ - one which cannot afford anything less than a total transformation of the business as usual. “We need everybody at the table to achieve this. Everybody.”
The UNFCCC exec said that the only way to get every sector aligned to the cause is by having those with the expertise engaged and supporting others to drive the change with the in-depth knowledge and experience they have. This is what will bring a renewable energy-powered resilient future. And he reckons UAE has the expertise to drive the transition.
Stiell said that COP summits themselves are a milestone. He said that the actions between COPs must be strategically aligned to leave the groundwork now for what is needed this year and what 2030 necessitates.
“Speaking directly to non-state actors and civil society, we need to engage now more than ever,” he said. “We want a process fit for the purpose that enables action and holds all actors to account. The accountability of commitments will be a significant pillar. Setting a bar on commitments is meaningless without a plan to deliver them.”
“Further to that a plan without action is a waste. We need your engagement to drive the momentum from commitment to plan, to action.”
Stiell challenged people to envisage the most ambitious political outcome for the global stocktake. “How can we use the global stocktake as a global reset to course correction? I don’t want to hear what’s the bare minimum we need to do,” he said. “This is a unique opportunity.”