COP28 Presidency continues to build momentum at Pre-COP with only 30 days to go
“Over the last two days I have seen and heard a lot that gives me hope. Real conversations are taking place on the difficult issues. We are getting closer to convergence in some critical areas,” said COP28 President Dr. Sultan Al Jaber in his closing remarks at the two-day Pre-COP conference. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: COP28 President Dr. Sultan Al Jaber has used his concluding address at the Pre-COP conference to urge ministers and delegations from around the world to accelerate the progress made on negotiations during the conference, emphasising that there is no time for further delays on climate action.

During the two-day conference, the 70 attending ministers and 100 country delegates discussed the political aspects of the COP28 negotiations, in a crucial moment to build consensus and set the tone for COP28.

In his closing remarks, Dr. Al Jaber told delegates “Over the last two days I have seen and heard a lot that gives me hope. Real conversations are taking place on the difficult issues. We are getting closer to convergence in some critical areas.”

In particular, he thanked those who had “put pen to paper” to outline the initial, essential elements of a decision on the Global Stocktake, which will provide the basis for the negotiations.

However, the majority of his speech was focused on urging Parties to continue to engage and drive consensus and action ahead of COP28. He stated: “We need parties to step up as early as possible so we can facilitate the work towards a decision. This decision needs to send clear, practical guidance to the world on how to close all the gaps revealed by the Global Stocktake.”

A major focus was the COP28 President’s call for Parties to “step up and make the necessary commitments” on climate finance, which he described as “one of the biggest obstacles to progress”.

Referring to the need for a “new ecosystem” to cut inequality for the Global South, he urged Parties to deliver institutional reform and focus on practical market mechanisms to lower risk and attract private investment.

However, the COP28 President was most emphatic on the need for Parties to restore confidence and trust that climate finance is actually being delivered; “This means certainty on the 100 billion, increased contributions to the Green Climate Fund, pledges to the adaptation fund and early pledges on loss and damage.”

The COP28 President continued to remind Parties that progress in loss and damage represents “taking action for the world’s most climate vulnerable people”.

He said, “we must deliver on the fund and funding arrangements for loss and damage […] We must build bridges on the three key issues: the institutional arrangements… governance and sources of funding”.

The remainder of Dr Al. Jaber speech outline his expectations of Parties across additional, crucial areas including fast-tracking the energy transition and driving forward progress on the Global Goal on Adaptation.

On the former, the COP28 President stated, “It is no longer a question of if the energy transition will happen, but when, how fast and how can we do it in a way that leaves no one behind” and noted that “as we set global targets, nations must be free to set their own pathway to getting there”.

Noting that there continue to be “strong views about including language on fossil fuels and renewables in the negotiated text”, Dr. Al Jaber told delegates “I invite you to take this conversation forward. We must jointly figure out the next steps. And we must come to COP28 ready with solutions.”

On adaptation, Dr. Al Jaber noted concern that adaptation is not receiving a fair share of climate finance and that the adaptation process “has lost its way,”.

To remedy this, he called for a “unifying destination […] the equivalent of a guiding star like the 1.5 degrees has been for mitigation” and called on Parties to act on recommendations that had emerged from Pre-COP to break down the Global Goal on Adaptation into themes to make it easier to track and deliver progress and come to COP28 with solutions.

In concluding the remarks, Dr. Al Jaber reminded those present of the work ahead. He said “We should use every single day between now and the beginning of COP28 to make progress on all the elements. We are at a decisive point on our journey to ensuring successful outcomes at COP28, which the world expects. So, everything we do from this point must be about accelerating.” He continued “That means working on advancing the negotiations on the actual decisions, and on the foundations for action.”

He told delegates: “We can show we are serious by turning up in a few weeks’ time fully prepared to agree the agenda on Day One”. He continued, “Let’s get the traction for action. Solidarity for humanity.”

Pre-COP is a preparatory meeting of ministers and negotiators ahead of the main climate conference. This year’s event had record attendance with more than double the normal number of participants for a Pre-COP.