SULTAN JABER-1701269170326
COP28 President-Designate Dr Sultan Al Jaber along with UNFCCC Executive Secretary Simon Stiell and the COP team, addressing a press conference at a Media Majlis on Wednesday Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The UAE is all set to host the most “consequential” and “unprecedented” Conference of Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with a call to all stakeholders to act and deliver action plans to keep the 1.5°C target of temperature increase within reach, according to COP28 President-Designate Dr Sultan Al Jaber.

Dr Al Jaber, along with UNFCCC Executive Secretary Simon Stiell and the COP team, spoke at a Media Majlis on Wednesday, a day before the COP28 programme commencing on Thursday.

“We all know that this COP is not an ordinary COP,” said Dr Al Jaber. “We know that this COP comes at an inflection point of the world and it is our view and our belief that this is the most consequential COP since Paris.”

Dr Al Jaber emphasised COP28’s North Star: to keep 1.5°C target within reach, as well as the need to close the gap between ambition and action. He said countries need to deliver on their promises.

“We need to reduce the gap between ambition and action. Those who promised must deliver. Those who pledged must act,” he said.

Global Stocktake

H noted: “We all know what makes this COP different is the fact that we have been entrusted to conduct the first-ever Global Stocktake and the Global Report Card under the framework for deciding our way forward and that is going to be a key outcome for this COP.”

He said he would hold “every country and every stakeholder accountable to keep the 1.5°C target within reach. I aim to achieve the highest ambition in the Global Stocktake decision.” He encouraged governments and policymakers “to come with a supercharged new mindset that is centred around implementation and actions.”

Dr Al Jaber expressed confidence and determination in achieving a remarkable outcome. “We feel that the prospects of an extraordinary outcome are at hand…and we will step up to deliver it.”

Read More

Massive numbers

He revealed a massive number of registrations to the Blue and Green Zones of the UN Climate Change Conference happening at Expo City Dubai.

“So far we have more than 97,000 registered delegates to the Blue Zone and over 400,000 registered visitors to the Green Zone.” Organisers had initially predicted participation of 70,000 participants in the Blue Zone.

Dr Al Jaber said 165 heads of state and governments will attend the event. There are over 220 pavilions in the Blue Zone including that of over 110 participating countries. In the Green Zone, there are seven thematic hubs. There is also a Start-up Village which houses around 100 tech start-ups in climate.

Dr Al Jaber said the numbers were already proof enough for the inclusivity of COP28 and highlighted the need for encouraging the private sector and civil society in the race against climate change. He said the event aims to have a comprehensive action agenda to fast-track energy transitions that leave no one behind.

Dr Al Jaber said the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN’s top climate body shows the world is way off target. “We respect the science … and we respect the most recent reports of the IPCC and we respect that fact the IPCC clearly shows that the progress we’ve made collectively so far is nowhere near fast enough,” Dr Al Jaber said.

Great momentum

He said the presidency’s approach has been “sincere and genuine from day one and that is what you’re going to experience throughout the next two weeks.”

Talking about the momentum that has been made in the lead-up to the COP28, he said: “We have made critical focus on loss and damage. Eighty-five per cent of the global economy is now behind COP28’s global renewable energy target of tripling renewable energy. And yes for the first time ever, a significant number of oil and gas companies now align around Net Zero by 2050 targets and Net Zero 2030 methane emission targets … We believe that this is a phenomenal, giant step and it is a significant step in the right direction.”

He said the alignment of the world’s largest economies, the US and China, on climate action and methane reductions, is a significant and confidence-boosting step. This progress, evident even before the official engagement began, marks a substantial shift from previous discussions, reflecting a positive direction in the global commitment to address climate issues.

“We know where the discussion was a few months ago, and I know where it is today. And you will see that being exemplified and clearly demonstrated by both countries throughout the next two weeks. This is real progress. And it all happened before we even started our engagement.”

Everyone to benefit

Simon Stiell said: “We enter this COP at a period where progress is being made in the fight against climate change, but it is just not enough, and it is not fast enough.”

He added that “everyone, all parties, entire global populations, will benefit from the boldness of the decisions made here in Dubai over the course of the next two weeks.”

Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, highlighted the UAE’s Net Zero strategy. She said the national focus is on a pro-growth, pro-climate mindset, emphasising skill development alongside investments. The progress made includes planting 45 million mangroves toward the 100 million goal by 2030, declared at COP 26.

Shamma Al Mazrui, Minister of Community Development, and the first-ever Youth Climate Champion, highlighted how COP28 has included the voice of the youth in the global event for the first time. Apart from the youth conference, COP28 has dedicated three pavilions for the youth.

COP28 in numbers

Blue Zone delegate registration: 97,000

Heads of states and governments: 165

Green Zone visitor registration: 400,000

Blue Zone pavilions: 220

Green Zone thematic hubs: 7

Location: Expo City Dubai

Dates: From Nov 30 to Dec. 12

Green Zone open from Dec. 3 to 12