Al Jaber engages with EU ministers to advance energy transition pathways - GulfToday

Al Jaber engages with EU ministers to advance energy transition pathways

Dr Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Jaber with an official in Madrid.

Dr Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Jaber with an official in Madrid.

Dr Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 President-Designate, met EU Energy and Environment Ministers, as Spain assumes the EU Council Presidency, to discuss the plans and objectives for the upcoming 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The meetings aimed to build momentum and foster cooperation with the EU to drive action on climate finance and tripling global renewable energy capacity.

Dr Al Jaber stated his goal as COP28 President-Designate is to ensure a just energy transition that makes finance accessible to all, particularly in the Global South, to address climate change and ensure food security, health, and sanitation for all.

The meeting was attended by Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, Director-General and Special Representative of COP28, and other prominent officials. Dr. Al Jaber emphasised the critical importance of a successful Global Stocktake, highlighting the urgent need for a major course correction to reduce global emissions by 43 percent by 2030 and accelerate the energy transition.

The COP28 delegation engaged with EU representatives and ministers, seeking support on important topics including the Global Stocktake, climate finance, international financial institution reform, renewables, and hydrogen.

The informal joint meeting of the European Energy and Environment Ministers was attended by the Spanish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Ecological Transition of Spain, Teresa Ribera; and the Vice-President of the European Commission, Franz Timmermans. Dr Al Jaber outlined his expectations for COP28, emphasising its significance as the last opportunity to keep the 1.5-degree goal within reach.

Dr. Al Jaber addressed the gathering, stating, “We have seven years to make a 43 per cent reduction in global carbon emissions in order to keep 1.5°C within reach. At the same time, we will see a dramatic increase in energy demand as the global population rises. The need for robust, sustainable growth while dramatically reducing emissions is the critical challenge of our century. A system-wide transformation of entire economies is required.”

To achieve the energy transition, Dr Al Jaber stressed the need to triple global renewable energy sources in both domestic and international arenas and highlighted his invitation to parties to unite behind the world’s first Global Renewables Pledge.

Dr Al Jaber reiterated the call to action he made at OPEC last week to oil and gas producing countries and companies to align around net-zero methane emissions by 2030 and net zero by or before 2050.

He called on EU Member States to take the necessary steps to expand renewable capacity, such as “accelerating permitting for projects and related infrastructure, expanding power-grid connections, increasing investment in technologies like storage, and increasing energy efficiencies.”

On fulfilling historic climate finance pledges, Dr Al Jaber said, “I am encouraged to believe that donors will finally meet the $100 billion commitment this year and we also need to operationalise the Loss and Damage fund this year.”

To finance the energy transition, Dr Al Jaber said, “We need to streamline and simplify access to climate finance and find new and scalable mechanisms to channel substantial private sector investment into the Global South. This will require major IFI and MDB reform to unlock concessional finance, lower risk and attract private finance at the scale and scope needed.”

Dr Jaber concluded his remarks by saying, “No one has all the answers, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, but by working together, we can make history together. COP28 must be a COP of Action and a COP for All if we are to deliver the game-changing transformation that the world needs.”

COP28 and Emirates Centre deal: The COP28 Presidency office and Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), detailing ECSSR’s activities and engagements throughout COP28, advancing a holistic approach to climate education. As part of the Global Climate Education thematic, the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) seeks to align global climate education and amplify the work of youth.

The MoU with ECSSR sets the stage for the Centre’s Green and Blue Zone events, exhibitions, panel discussions, and other educational materials designed to raise awareness about climate change, sustainability, and global action. Special short-casts, video episodes, and an audiobook are among the digital assets ECSSR will create during COP28 to streamline education around climate change.

Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, Director-General and Special Representative of COP28, emphasised the need for collective action, stating, “COP28 and ECSSR recognise the crucial importance of working together to tackle climate change and to raise awareness for a sustainable future.”

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