Abu Dhabi: A number of ministers have praised the UAE's winning the right to host the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in 2023, the largest global conference of heads of state and government on climate and environmental issues.
In their statements on this spectacular occasion, the ministers attributed the victory to the great position that the UAE occupies at all Arab, regional and international levels, thanks to the insightful vision of the wise leadership, which seeks to look next fifty years filled with hope, work, progress, growth and prosperity by citizens, sustaining the previous past five decades of the Union full of achievements.
All these accomplishments were for the happiness of all those who live in the UAE, both citizens and residents.
As host of the 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28), the world will see UAE is expediting climate action at the forefront of its economic development agenda in the years to come. It will unlock new great opportunities and drive change toward a more prosperous and sustainable business and investment environment, the UAE Cabinet Ministers said.
In their congratulatory statements after UAE winning the right to host COP28, Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, noted, "Healthcare is intrinsically linked with pollution, and COP28 is a platform to discuss all forms of pollution and its effect on health. The UAE has always supported health initiatives in other countries, and as long as climate change and health are linked, we must all work collectively to seek viable solutions to stem emissions, reduce air pollution and save our oceans."
Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, stated, "Clean energy is at the heart of our strategy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. In terms of achievements to-date in this context, we are proud to be the first country in the region to produce zero-carbon nuclear power, introduce carbon capture technology, and operate the first solar-driven green hydrogen producing facility.
"Our ability to use the power of natural resources - whether solar, wind, hydrogen or low carbon intensity hydrocarbons - has been a significant step. The UAE’s clean energy capacity is expected to reach 12 GW by 2025. Globally we have contributed nearly US$17 billion in aid to support renewable projects in 50 countries. COP28 in the UAE will help us to create stronger partnerships and build on these efforts - locally and internationally."
Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, said, "In a continued effort to innovate and pursue programs that raise awareness across society, regarding the risks of climate inaction, the UAE has set targeted policies that encourage and facilitate the move towards taking fundamental action.
"Programmes such as the Climate Innovations Exchange and the Youth for Sustainability Initiative work diligently to encourage our youth to become active leaders in the worlds transition towards effective and practical sustainability, in addition to bringing young entrepreneurs and investors together so as to work towards delivering sustainable climate solutions.
"COP28 in the UAE will only serve to further fuel the next generations passion and curiosity in taking action for a better plant and a better future," she added.
Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, commented, "The quantum leaps in economic growth and diversification that were achieved in the UAE over the past few decades were the result of an unyielding approach to excel in charting new frontiers in sustainable economic development. As we have done so far, we shall continue to work closely with the international community to help achieve a sustainable future for people throughout the globe.
"Expediting climate action will be at the forefront of our economic development agenda in the years to come as we believe it will unlock new great opportunities and drive change toward a more prosperous and sustainable business and investment environment. As part of our commitment for a brighter future for all and to help drive the international climate change agenda forward, we are seeking to host COP28. Hosting such an important international environmental gathering will provide the UAE the opportunity to proudly continue to lead by example in the region and beyond."
Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said, "The UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative will help to drive significant investment in a sustainable economy. A sustainable economy that embraces new technologies, ensures gender diversity, and provides good jobs to the next generation. Hosting COP28 will accelerate the transformation of our labour market to meet those goals, attracting high skilled human capital that can create growth through clean energy and green infrastructure."
Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, said, "The Ministry of Education has always been keen on improving climate change education in the schools and enabling UAE citizens to become leaders in driving international efforts to overcome the global climate challenges. In this regard, the Ministry has collaborated with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to promote the awareness of students in renewable and sustainable energy development and enable them to play a major role in the achievement of the relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Ministry’s partnership with IRENA outlines the roadmap for integrating sustainable development into UAE education system."
Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said, "As the backbone of the UAE and global economy, SMEs have much to gain from doing their part in reducing the effects of climate change. COP28 is not only a chance for the UAE to underline its leading role in the future of global sustainable business, but it will bring enormous economic advantages to our nation. We hope the thriving small business ecosystem will showcase its world-class sustainable business activities. We look forward to welcoming world leaders and policy shapers to see for themselves how the UAE has codified sustainability into the economy; from logistics to leisure, technology to transport."
Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, stated, "Increasingly, foreign direct investors need to look at potential investment projects through the lens of sustainability. The UAE has long been well positioned as a global business hub. COP28 is a chance for the UAE to showcase its leadership in sustainability, and I am certain that hosting the event will lead to even greater flows of FDI. We encourage business of all sizes to incorporate here in the UAE, with incentives ranging from low tax regimes to green building initiatives."
Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology, said the UAE is well placed to take a global leadership stance in stemming climate change through use of technology.
"COP28 is a perfect opportunity for world leaders and thought leaders to join us in mitigating climate change," she added.
"I believe key to reducing emissions is embracing the innovative technologies which herald the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). The UAE’s approach to climate emission reduction has always centred on partnership, and we must share our knowledge globally to find best-fit solutions. The 4IR technologies concern unprecedented levels of connectivity and data analysis. Employing bleeding-edge technologies and sharing data will mean together, we can gain better insight than ever before into our planetary issues," Al Amiri stated.
Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Teleworking Applications, said, "Hosting COP28 will not only be a chance for us to explain our sustainable AI activities, but allow world leaders to see first-hand how artificial intelligence can bring real world results.
"Innovation is a key driver in the UAE’s development, and it is needed more than ever to halt the stem of emissions. AI is truly a powerful tool that adds significant momentum to implementing the UAE’s sustainability agenda. We have partnered with international AI innovators to undertake deep research and analysis into helping solve the global climate issue. For instance, our AI Lab monitors and analyses levels and sources of air and marine pollution, and identifies concentrated solar power locations that can serve as ideal installation sites for solar panels."
Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State, noted, "Our private sector has already begun to integrate environmental and social risks into their business models. From adopting technology innovation to developing environmental goods and services, businesses play a crucial role. Hosting COP28 will allow us to create economic diversification and growth while also maintaining a sustainable competitive edge."