COP28 an opportunity to focus on Paris Agreement goals: Almheiri - GulfToday

COP28 an opportunity to focus on Paris Agreement goals: Almheiri


Mariam Bint Mohammed Almheiri with Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel in Cuba.

Mariam Bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, headed the UAE delegation to the G77+China Summit, held in Cuba, where she met Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel as well as ministers and senior officials from around the world.

Almheiri affirmed that COP28, being hosted by the UAE, is an opportunity to turn the world’s collective focus to conclude the first Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement and accelerate initiatives to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals to create a prosperous future for humanity.

Themed “Current Development Challenges: The Role of Science, Technology, and Innovation”, the G77+China Summit was attended by António Guterres, UN Secretary General as well as several heads of state.

Commenting on the UAE’s participation in the summit,  Almheiri said “The UAE believes that climate action is an opportunity to create a more equitable and sustainable world. It is an opportunity to raise living standards, create new jobs and vibrant new industries, strengthen our bond with nature, and climate-positive growth.”

“We believe science, innovation and technology are the tools humanity needs to drive collective progress on climate action and help put us back on track to achieving our goal of reducing global emissions by 43% by 2030. A just, orderly, and equitable energy transition is inevitable, and essential, and the contributions of this Group are essential in representing the interests of the Global South and ensuring equitable access to the benefits of technology. Member states of the Group must continue to support each other in what is our shared endeavour.”

During the summit, the UAE Minister of Climate Change and the Environment met the President of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, and conveyed the greetings and congratulations of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Cuba being named Chair of the G77+China Summit.

Almheiri also met  Manuel Marrero Cruz, Prime Minister of Cuba, and discussed UAE-Cuba relations in food and agriculture sectors, among other fields, as well as details about UAE hosting COP28.

The UAE minister held talks with Dima Al-Khatib, Director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), to review the role of cooperation between countries of the Global South in accelerating the climate agenda. They also discussed the UAE’s commitment to provide US$4.5 billion to help drive Africa’s clean energy projects.

In another meeting,  Almheiri and Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, discussed ways to further strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries, and the UAE’s preparations to host COP28.

She also discussed the importance of knowledge sharing in driving research and development and ways to integrate climate change and sustainability in academic curricula, during her meeting with Mohamed Ayman Ashour, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Egypt.

The UAE delegation also met Elba Rosa Pérez Montoya, Minister of Science, Technology and Environment of Cuba, to discuss potential cooperation in the blue economy, and knowledge exchange in the field of marine life conservation that will be a key topic of discussing during COP28.

Norberto Carlos Escalona Carrillo, Ambassador of Cuba to the UAE, praised the UAE’s effort in “achieving a COP that provides real solutions, based on concrete and measurable actions, to the climate crisis we face.”

In his statements to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Ambassador Carrillo said that the vision expressed by the organisers is clear in terms of the importance they attach to unity and international cooperation for the success of COP28 and the acceleration of the transition towards a sustainable economic model, with a low-carbon and high-growth economy, in a transformative and fair way.

He added that the COP28 Action Agenda also seeks to catalyse collaborative action on adaptation, preserving ecosystems, climate-resilient food systems, and protecting and empowering the most vulnerable communities by investing in practical solutions to improve lives and livelihoods.

Ambassador Carrillo stated that the Republic of Cuba’s has assumed the pro tempore Presidency of the Group of 77 and China (G77+China), which reflects its commitment to consolidate the unity, presence and influence of the Group in the multiple and relevant multilateral processes to be held in 2023.

As part of its pro tempore Presidency of G77+China, Cuba has convened the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Group in Havana on 15th and 16th September, under the theme “Current development challenges: Role of Science, Technology and Innovation.”

In consequence to this aspiration, Ambassador Carrillo stressed that his country has convened and held meetings of G77+China in the spheres of education, culture, tourism and environment during international conferences on each of these topics in 2023.

“The meetings allowed us to discuss aspects of common interest, identify shared challenges and propose actions to face them, emphasising the importance of coordinated action and cooperation between the members of the Group,” he explained, adding that “during its mandate, Cuba has promoted cooperation projects between member countries in the areas of medicine, education, biotechnology, and climate change.”

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