Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 President-designate, addressing the ‘From G20 to COP28: Energy, Climate and Growth’ forum held in Abu Dhabi on Sunday Image Credit: X/@COP28_UAE

Abu Dhabi: Multilateralsim can help meet climate targets expected to be announced at the upcoming COP28 in the UAE, Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 President-designate, said today.

At the ‘From G20 to COP28: Energy, Climate and Growth’ special forum held in Abu Dhabi today, Dr Al Jaber said the UAE and India shared a “vision for embracing an energy transition in line with sustainable socio-economic development”.

He praised India, the current host of the Presidency of the G20, for its energy transition vision.

This joint focus on renewables presents a huge opportunity to develop both economies for the future. The UAE is a pioneer in renewable energy, home to some of the biggest solar projects in the world and one of the largest global investors in the sector.

Dr Al Jaber thanked the leadership of India for delivering the G20 Delhi Declaration and for the immense progress achieved on core climate actions. He specifically thanked the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for delivering a global agreement and highlighted the Indian Government’s strong approach to cooperation and multilateralism, which the COP Presidency aims to emulate.

First-ever Global Stocktake

COP28 would “frame climate action as an opportunity for growth”, Dr Al Jaber said, adding that it would aim for “ambitious and balanced outcomes through the first Global Stocktake, across mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation”.

Dr Al Jaber praised Prime Minister Modi’s commitment to multilateralism, and he reminded delegates that, under Prime Minister Modi’s guidance, countries representing 85 per cent of the global economy have agreed to COP28’s global goal of tripling renewable energy capacity and doubling energy efficiency by 2030.

Rebuilding North-South trust

However, he also acknowledged the critical need for a “new paradigm” in climate finance to ensure every country across the Global South can adopt low carbon development – which he told delegates must start with “rebuilding trust” between north and south. He renewed calls for the transformation of climate finance to ensure a fair and inclusive global energy transition.

“Unmet promises like the $100 billion pledge must be fulfilled,” Dr Al Jaber said. “The green climate fund must be fully replenished. Adaptation finance must be doubled. And the fund for loss and damage must be fully operationalised at COP28.”

He added that “the broader climate finance landscape must be transformed. International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) urgently need to reframe their mandates to meet growing climate needs. More concessional funding is essential to attract more private capital.

"We need smart policies to ensure the efficiency, integrity and equity of voluntary carbon markets. And we need innovative models of blended finance to combine catalytic and private investment that can be deployed in emerging and developing economies.”

“In short, the clean technologies that are taking off in the north must be available accessible and affordable across the global south,” Dr Al Jaber told delegates.

The COP28 President also called for rebalancing of climate finance to focus on adaptation alongside mitigation, noting that currently “for every $10 spent on mitigation, only $1 goes to adaptation.”

Dr Al Jaber’s address to the G20 Presidency comes shortly after the Fifth Meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Transitional Committee on Loss and Damage concluded with agreement on a list of recommendations for implementing the Loss and Damage Fund, which will be taken forward at COP28.

Looking ahead, Dr Al Jaber recapped the comprehensive agenda for COP28, which he told delegates will be an opportunity to “show that multilateralism still works”. He said it was time to “replace discord with solidarity…let’s bring positivity to climate deliberations and restore hope through united climate action”.