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Some 25,000 delegates from around the world are now wrapping up COP26, the critical gathering for environmentalists, scientists, governmental officials and world leaders in an attempt to put the brakes on global warming and limit the rise of the Earth’s temperature to just 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Yes, there were some breakthroughs as nations agreed to cut methane gas emissions, stop deforestation, and China and the United States — the world’s largest emitters of carbon dioxide — have agreed to work together to reach that 1.5 degree target. Overall though, efforts at Glasgow fell short and just increase pressure on world leaders, governments, companies and businesses — all of us — to act more forcefully now.

Given the pressures now facing this planet, the announcement that the UAE will now host COP28, an even more critical summit on climate change in 2023 is a very significant moment indeed — and the work must start now to ensure that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, as the gathering is formally known, will be the turning point in saving this planet from permanent and accelerating climate change.

Already between the summits in Paris six years ago and now Glasgow, our environment is more unpredictable, weather events are more extreme and there is a significant and rising death toll associated with climate change as well as a soaring cost in monetary terms — and in sheer monetary terms too.

The announcement of COP28 coming to the UAE was made on Thursday by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, adding “we will put all our potential and capabilities to make this conference a success.”

Fifty years ago, when this nation was founded, our leaders had a profound respect for the environment and how its conditions shaped its culture, history and people. Hosting COP28 is testament to the UAE’s long history and commitment to fighting climate change, developing and securing alternative forms of energy, being committed to renewable energy and making decision for the right reasons for this planet.

For those of us who live in the UAE, we know when that when it puts its mind to getting things done, it succeeds. Failure is never an option. Now that same drive and energy must be harnessed to make COP28 a success as there simply is no plan B for the planet.