UAE builds support for COP28 - GulfToday

UAE builds support for COP28

COP28

The UAE believes that climate action is an opportunity to create a more equitable and sustainable world.

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, United Arab Emirates’ Foreign Minister, will be participating in the 78th United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York this week. The UAE will engage with other member-countries on global challenges on climate change, countering extremism and terrorist groups, and empowerment of women and girls.

In view of the Conference Of Parties (COP) due to be held in Dubai in November, the focus will be on the climate agenda. COP28 is the first Global Stocktaking of the 2015 Paris Agreements on issues like reducing carbon emission by 43 per cent by 2030 and also meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UAE delegation will participate in the UN-convened “Climate Ambition Summit” on September 20. Dr. Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Jaber, President-Designate of COP28, will be engaged in events and bilateral meetings to build support for the COP28 outcomes. He will preside over two ministerial roundtables, one on Global Stocktake and the other on Loss and Damage.   

The focus on COP28 was reflected in the engagement of the UAE delegation headed by Mariam Bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister for Climate Change and Environment at the G77 + China summit in Havana. She said about the UAE’s participation in the summit: “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.”

This shows that the UAE is approaching the climate change issue as an opportunity to create new jobs and new industries instead of being a mere response to a disaster with mitigating measures. The majority response at the UN climate summits recently, whether in Copenhagen or Paris, has been to evolve policies to push back the negative impact of climate change through achieving curbs on carbon emissions and evolving green alternatives.

But climate change is not being seen as an opportunity to create a new way of doing work and business, and a new way of achieving well-being of the people of all countries and of the environment. The UAE approach is to push for the positive agenda of being able to create a new work with new horizons.

And it looks to using science and technology to achieve these goals instead of trying to go back to pre-technological stages of living as the lesser evil. Referring to the theme of G77 summit in Havana, “Current Development Challenges: The Role of Science, Technology and Innovation”, she said, “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 per cent by 2030.”

The positivity has been the bedrock of UAE’s approach to climate change issues. The tone for it has been set by UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in his address to COP27 at Sharm Al-Shaikh when he said, “We have only one planet, ladies and gentlemen, and with that in mind, it is imperative that we partner and work together in a spirit of determination and optimism to address this common challenge through climate action. We look at this as an opportunity for innovation, and a chance to find new solutions and diversify our economy.”

The emphasis is on optimism, new solutions and diversifying the economy. And this is the spirit that the challenge of climate change has to be tackled with. A defensive approach and cautious thinking will not help to find the bold solutions that are needed. And the UAE is setting the right tone to face the biggest challenge of them all – climate change crisis.


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