German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at COP28 in Dubai
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at COP28 in Dubai Image Credit: UNFCCC

Dubai: On Saturday, the third day of the UN’s COP28 climate conference taking place in Dubai, leaders from various nations, including the US, Caribbean Islands, European nations, and African countries, continued to present their national statements.

Delegations from some 170 countries across the world are evaluating advancements made towards achieving global climate goals. Substantial financial commitments have been pledged for climate initiatives, fostering the creation of new alliances and reinforcing existing ones.

Here are some noteworthy highlights from the statements of a number of global leaders:

1.5C goal still within reach: German Chancellor Scholz

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is confident that the world can still reduce emissions sufficiently this decade to limit temperature rises to 1.5C. “However, science tells us in no clear terms that we need to step up the pace. Despite the geopolitical tensions for climate change continues to be the major global challenge of our time,” said Scholz. “We have what it makes to meet these challenges. We have the technologies – wind power, e-mobility, green hydrogen.”

Loss and damage is only a part of the equation: Barbados Prime Minister Mottley

“We’ve seen one third of the days this year exceed 1.5C. In Glasgow I said this was a death sentence. It is a death sentence for many. The reality is that unless we change course and adopt the policies that can mitigate that increase in temperatures, we’re going to see far more lives lost and far more damage done,” said Mottley.

Investing in coal is an absurdity: French President Macron

“Emerging countries must phase out carbon. We must allow developing countries to catch-up economically; but that catch up must not be done using coal. Just as we speak, we have 500 GW of new coal capacities being planned. It’s a true absurdity to choose coal. We must take a complete U-turn on this subject. The G7 must set an example and commit to put an end to coal before others,” said Emmanuel Macron.

French Emmanuel President Macron addressing the conference on Saturday Image Credit: AP

Humanity hurtling towards abyss: Slovakia’s President Caputova

“Humanity is hurtling toward the abyss. How many more COPs do we need to avoid it? Every five seconds, one person dies from pollution.”

Effects of climate change are a public health emergency: Jose Ramos-Horta, President of Timor-Leste

“I urge the World Health Organisation to declare a public health emergency of international concern, the highest level of emergency that can be declared by WHO. Timor-Leste experiences multiple climate change impacts. We need to define climate finance as new and additional - at least 0.7 per cent of GCP. Why are we saddled with large debts? It’s an impossibility to recover.”

Climate change has devastating consequences: Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of South Sudan

“For four years now the country is suffering from floods, drought, excessive heat and irregular rain patterns.

“These have negatively affected the livelihoods of our people. The people are internally displaced and forced to fight over water and pasture. That is causing sub-national conflict between the displaced and host communities, so peace and security are severely affected as a result of climate change. We have come to this Cop28 with the hope that we, the world leaders, will commit ourselves to the implementation of the provisions of the Paris Agreement,” he said.

We will remain carbon-negative: Chandrikapersad Santokhi, President of Suriname

“We are one of the only three carbon-negative countries in the world. We are committed and confident that we will remain carbon negative. Let that be very clear. We must put into place climate finance that works and is easily accessible.

“Conservation of our standing forests should be higher valued than reforestation,” he stated.

‘COP28 is a COP of action: William Ruto, President of Kenya

“COP28 is a ‘COP of Action’, as it delivered major strides with the activation of the Loss and Damage Fund. The Fund has been long-awaited by many countries. The UAE’s pledge to provide $100 million to activate the loss and damage fund is a springboard that will help dive climate action and deal with issues related to climate financing,” he said.

COP28 is a global platform for all countries of the world to unite, not divide, Ranil Wickremesinghe, President of Sri Lanka “COP is a global platform for all countries in the world to unite, not divide, and come together to address potential environmental disasters resulting from climate change,” he said.