COP28 UAE President Designate Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber has asked developed countries to reach a $100 billion yearly financing target to support vulnerable nations affected by climate change and address the situation.
Dr. Al Jaber stated at the 14th Petersberg Climate Dialogue, co-hosted by Germany and the UAE in Berlin, that he and his team have been on a "listening tour" for the past three months, hearing views and ideas from the Global South, major economies, indigenous people, NGOs, civil society, the business community, and youth.
"Expectations are high, but trust is low." Developing countries have yet to get the $100 billion promised by rich countries 14 years ago. This is impeding progress. In addition, as part of my outreach, I am proposing that donor countries offer a comprehensive assessment of the implementation of this pledge prior to COP28. "It is critical to the political credibility of the UNFCCC process that donors step up to this long overdue obligation ahead of COP28, especially as the real value of this commitment has eroded over time," Dr Al Jaber said ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference of Parties in the UAE (COP28 UAE).
The Emirati minister emphasised the need of maintaining the objective of reducing global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, which was established at COP21 Paris in 2015 but was never realised.
"We have just passed the seven-year mark since the Paris Agreement's adoption, with only seven years until 2030." There are seven years to reduce emissions by 43% while maintaining the Paris Agreement's aspirations and objectives."
Dr. Al Jaber emphasised that the COP28 will include a 'global stocktake' - an assessment of progress reached on specified goals since the Paris Agreement - for the first time.
"The most recent IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report has already shown that we are all way off track." This is a watershed moment that we must all face head on."
The Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology of the UAE made an emotional plea for collective responsibility and action, as well as accepting reality.
"It is our joint responsibility." And this responsibility necessitates our honesty as well as our collaborative effort.
We can only thrive through genuine and honest teamwork, collaboration, and common purpose."
Dr. Al Jaber stated that the world has no alternative but to work together to accomplish the climate targets.
"We must accelerate cross-sectoral mitigation progress." We must guarantee that countries have the resources and policies in place to adapt to the effects of climate change. And we must boost climate finance by making it more available, accessible, and affordable in order to drive delivery across all climate pillars. All of this must be done while ensuring a just and equitable transition that leaves no one behind."
Dr. Al Jaber stated that as President of COP28, he would provide a "fair, inclusive, and transparent" presidency that would allow all parties to establish consensus throughout the agenda.
"The negotiations will provide an opportunity for all parties to discuss, debate, and agree on the role of all energy sources."
The CEO of ADNOC emphasised the importance of phasing out fossil fuel emissions while working on viable and inexpensive zero-carbon alternatives.
"This is the approach we have been taking in the UAE for more than 20 years, where we have embraced in practice the energy transition, and we know that the energies used today will continue to be a part of the global energy mix for the foreseeable future."
According to Dr. Al Jaber, COP28 will provide real solutions to assist people in adapting to climate change and managing the escalating climatic impacts.
"We must strive to make COP28 remembered for bringing everyone together in action." Let us work together to make this COP one of unity, solidarity, and influence. A COP of action and a COP for everyone. And let us unite a divided world for the sake of the earth, our people, and long-term sustainable growth. The planet needs transformative improvement. "And the world requires transformational action," he told the audience, which included Mariam Al Mheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28 UAE.
The Berlin gathering will bring together ministers and climate experts from over 40 nations to discuss next actions towards meeting climate targets.
Meanwhile, Germany's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock stated that COP28, along with the global stocktake, will provide an opportunity to assess where the world stands in terms of implementing the Paris Agreement's climate targets.
"Dear Professor Sultan Al Jaber, I am delighted that one of your priorities for your present president is to develop a clear path that will allow us to stay inside 1.5 degrees Celsius. We will do everything we can to assist you in attaining this goal and ensuring that COP28 is a success in this regard," she said, emphasising the importance of concrete partnerships in addressing the century's "greatest security challenge."
In a video speech, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated that COP28 will deliver on the breakthrough agreement struck at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
"Keep in mind one simple fact: dealing with loss and damage is all about saving lives." Do not let the historic COP27 deal fall apart. We know the facts about climate change; please act now," Guterres continued.