Sultan Al Jaber
The risks associated with higher temperatures is the same for all countries - that requires transformational change to counter, says UAE;s COP28 President-Designate Dr. Sultan Al Jaber. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/ Gulf News

Dubai: The world can cut emissions in half in the next seven years with the help of human progress and partnership, said Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, the UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change, and UAE COP28 President-Designate.

“I believe in the power of human progress; I believe in the power of our leadership’s vision for progress through partnership; and I believe that together we can turn the greatest challenge we face into the opportunity of our lifetimes.”

Speaking at the ADSW (Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week) 2023 opening ceremony, Al Jaber extended an open invitation to cooperate, collaborate, and share ideas to make progress towards a sustainable future. “Because next never stops and now is the time to unite, now is the time to act,” he said. “This is the time to turn rhetoric into tangible results.”

The UAE, a major OPEC oil exporter, will be the second Arab state to host the climate conference after Egypt hosted the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) in 2022. At COP28, which will be hosted at Expo City Dubai, the UAE will work to develop a transition work plan to transform energy systems, which could involve pledges in the billions of dollars. This will also highlight the nation’s clean energy actions thus far.

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“The UAE approaches this role with humility, a deep sense of responsibility and a great sense of urgency,” said Al Jaber. “We have a full and clear understanding of what is at stake.

We share the risks of rising temperatures alongside all countries, and we hear the ambition to make transformational game-changing progress to get ahead of the future.

- Dr Sultan Al Jaber

Al Jaber said that this is a critical decade for climate progress and that the UAE wants COP28 to transform systems and accelerate 2030 trajectories through game-changing partnerships and solutions as well as real tangible outcomes.

‘Next never stops’

Al Jaber reaffirmed that the UAE will embed sustainability in all its hydrocarbon operations, and will continue to invest in clean energies of tomorrow. “Before anyone in this region saw future renewables, people questioned our ability to deliver on the promise of mastery,” he said. “We focused and stayed the course before others decarbonize.”

A $4 trillion effort

Investment in renewable energy needs to double to more than $4 trillion by the end of the decade to meet net-zero emissions targets by 2050, the IEA said in its ‘World Energy Outlook’ last year. The IEA’s stated policy scenario (Steps) projects clean energy investment to rise to slightly more than $2 trillion by 2030.

“For us, sustainable development is about never settling for the now,” said Al Jaber. “It is always about next, it’s about building on previous breakthroughs - never hitting the pause button because next never stops.”

Earlier this week, the ADNOC chief said that the UAE has invested $50 billion in renewable energy globally and plans to invest another $50 billion in the years ahead.

“The road to net zero represents the biggest market transformation with the greatest economic promise since the First Industrial Revolution, said Al Jaber. “A no-carbon pathway to a high growth destination with inclusive growth for all.

“Driving inclusive progress is what design sustainability price is all about.”