This year is special for the UAE. The country is hosting the largest United Nations climate change conference in the world — COP28. The 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC will convene from 30 November to 12 December 2023 in Dubai.
In view of the changing legal landscape and corporate governance that is already transforming the country, our institute’s board of directors are also adopting a new strategy. The vision of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership is making a positive impact through outstanding environmental sustainability performance.
Our approach is to bring to fore issues critical to tackling climate change. The outcomes of this strategy will enhance the country’s soft power by demonstrating an active civil society, showcase domestic work on the ground (around nature-based solutions) and ramp up the ambition towards mobilising long term commitments towards nature and climate.
We also support the establishment of new partnerships and initiatives for domestic, regional and internal impact by serving as a platform and help form stakeholder partnerships in the run-up to the COP.
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2023 — the year of sustainability
It gives us great pride that the UAE views sustainability as key for the future, thanks to the vision and support of our wise leadership. President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has always directed the adoption of initiatives related to sustainability and achieving climate neutrality.
Hosting the COP28 indicates the UAE’s commitment to a practical and realistic methodology that focuses on the massive research it is leading to help address the climate crisis by reducing emissions and accelerating the wheel of transformation based on renewable sources.
With the COP28 coming to the UAE, the world will be converging here. This presents to the UAE an opportunity to showcase its commitments and achievements toward climate and nature solutions in the global area, especially after the announcement of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed that 2023 will be the year of sustainability.
The UAE is committed to ensure energy security while reducing emissions, highlighting that oil and gas in the country are among the least carbon-intensive in the world, and that work continues on reducing emissions in this vital sector, in line with the vision of the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Climate neutrality by 2050
The UAE was the first country in the region to announce a strategic initiative to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 — to not enhance energy security and support climate action.
These investment initiatives in clean technology and climate action will also lead to an increase in economic and development opportunities, ultimately benefiting future generations, by securing a sustainable future for our planet. The initiatives incorporate all aspects of sustainability: social, economic, environmental and also the creation of new sectors, new skills, and new jobs.
UAE will also continue its role as a responsible supplier of low-emissions energy and clean energy in a way that guarantees continued growth and provides the necessary resources to support climate action.
Moving together at a steady pace
However, to achieve this goal, the public and private sectors need to move together at a steady pace, as the partnership is more important today than ever before especially since UAE has made great strides in the path of sustainability, climate neutrality and environmental preservation by adopting a series of ambitious initiatives and projects.
In conclusion, my thanks goes to the members of the Board of Directors of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership for their support of sustainability efforts and environmental preservation.
We also take heart from the appreciation by His Majesty King Charles III of the United Kingdom and President of the Commonwealth, who has praised the founder and president of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership for the pioneering role of the UAE in advancing climate action efforts and the insightful vision of the UAE President for leading the global sustainability initiative.
Dr Hamed Bin Mohamed Khalifa Al Suwaidi is the Founder and President of the Al Suwaidi Foundation, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Abu Dhabi Arts Society (ADAS) and Advisory Council Member of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership