Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, COP28 President-Designate, in Beijing. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, COP28 President-Designate, has concluded his visit to China to attend a high-level dialogue on climate action, during which he hailed China’s “remarkable leadership” in the energy transition.

During his visit, the President-Designate held meetings with Xie Zhenhua, China’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, Zhao Yingmin, Vice Minister of Ecology and Environment, and Wangi Yi, Foreign Minister. He also met Laurence Tubiana, Chief Executive Officer of the European Climate Foundation, and a key architect of the Paris Agreement.

The President-Designate delivered an address at the Friends of Paris High-Level Dialogue meeting, held in Beijing this week. Calling for a robust response to the Global Stocktake, Dr. Al Jaber added: “We have no time to waste, and we need a detailed action plan that delivers a robust and comprehensive response to the Global Stocktake across the key pillars of the Paris Agreement. We must agree on an ambitious mitigation work program, finalize the global goal on adaptation, establish a fund for loss and damage and agree on an equitable approach to means of implementation.

Acknowledging that the world is not on track to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement, Dr. Al Jaber said that the COP28 Action Agenda will help “translate all the ambitions of Paris into practical results.

“The first pillar of that agenda is a fast, fair, equitable and well managed energy transition,” the President-Designate said. “China’s remarkable leadership in this transition is one of the reasons I am optimistic that we can make breakthrough progress.”

“This great country has already installed 1000 GW of renewable energy capacity and will add another 500GW in wind and solar in the next three years alone. This aligns closely with COP28’s call for a global goal of tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030. And with China leading the way, I am sure the whole world can do it.”

China will also “play a vital role in expanding green growth through expanding South-South cooperation with the Belt and Road Initiative,” Dr. Al Jaber said. The initiative is designed to drive investment in green infrastructure in emerging and developing economies.

The President-Designate reiterated the importance of operationalizing the fund and funding commitments for loss and damage at COP28, and again urged donor countries to double adaptation finance by 2025 and replenish the green climate finance.

Discussing the importance of preserving nature, Dr. Al Jaber also commended “China’s commitment to ecological civilization, enhancing natural ecosystems and achieving a nearly 100 per cent improvement in air quality since 2015.”

The fifth such meeting, the Friends of Paris High-Level Dialogue is a non-government platform to convene climate champions to explore ideas on implementing the Paris Agreement. The meeting featured thematic dialogues on the energy and industry transition, and financial flows for climate and financial reform.