Abu Dhabi: More than 1,000 political leaders and experts in the field of climate change will descend to the capital next week for the Abu Dhabi Climate Meeting.

The key summit is expected to craft the agenda for the United Nations Climate Action Summit taking place later this year in New York.

The two-day conference will take place on June 30 and July 1 at the Emirates Palace, with UN secretary general Antonio Guterres set to welcome ministers from Europe, Asia, South America and Africa.

The inaugural summit will feature round-table discussions and sessions on a number of topics related to climate change — including economic opportunities in a green economy — along with the adverse health effects on humans brought on by the phenomenon.

The outcomes of these discussions will be submitted as draft resolutions to be acted on, later in September, when the UN Climate Action Summit takes place.

“We are all aware that the threat of climate change is so serious that it requires international cooperation and multilateral climate action,” said Dr Thani Bin Ahmad Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, during a media press conference on Wednesday outlining the theme of the two-day event. “The UAE is therefore honoured to serve as the host for such significant discussions in partnership with the UN.

“Over two days, the Abu Dhabi Climate Meeting will feature high-level round-table discussions and plenary sessions that bring together the world’s leading advocates of climate action. During the sessions, they will define ways to tackle and mitigate the effects of climate change on the planet and on its people,” the minister added.

“This is a not a business as usual event, there is tangible evidence of the changes already underway … In conjunction with the UN we are determined to make 2019 the year of international cooperation and leadership in climate action,” he said.

UAE’s proactive approach

Al Zeyoudi also spoke on the need for a positive and proactive approach when it comes to tackling climate change, rather than just focusing on its negative aspects.

“We don’t want to always use the same style when it comes to climate change saying it’s a disaster that is going to harm everyone,” he said. “We want to give the positive side of the story as well — there is progress being made with new technologies being created such as solar power, renewables and electric vehicles,” he added.

Al Zeyoudi said the green economy was also helping diversify the UAE’s economy with the creation of new jobs and industries.

“The UAE saw the business case for climate action early on, and is already drawing benefits from its investments.

“Climate action creates jobs and new industries, and makes existing industries even more competitive,” Al Zeyoudi added.