COP28 President-designate participates in World Summit on Sustainable Development in India
Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and President-designate of COP28 hosted by the UAE this year, stressed that the vision of the leadership in the country always focuses on consolidating the principles of sustainability in all development efforts locally, regionally and internationally, stressing the importance of joining hands, uniting efforts, pooling resources and building qualitative partnerships to make an effective and bold shift in the approach to climate action.
This came in his speech today at the World Summit on Sustainable Development hosted by the Institute of Energy and Resources (TERI) in New Delhi, where he referred to the important global role of India, which currently holds the presidency of the G20, and is on its way to becoming the third largest economy in the world soon.
Sustainable development is important for India and the world at large, he said, considering the theme of the summit "Mainstreaming Sustainable Development and Climate Resilience" as a call to action addressed to all of us and a fundamental pillar of COP28.
His Excellency praised the efforts of the Indian government to build a prosperous and sustainable future, stressing that the UAE supports India's direction during its leadership of the G500 by focusing on measures that make a qualitative leap that contributes to promoting the adoption of a green and blue economy, building a clean future, and providing fair and sustainable growth for all.
He praised India's goal of reaching <> GW of clean energy production within the next seven years, noting that the UAE, as one of the largest investors in renewable energy sources, continues to explore partnership opportunities with India in line with the country's efforts to achieve further growth and progress with the lowest amount of emissions.
His Excellency reiterated the UAE's firm commitment to the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit the rise in global temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius, noting that progress is still far from required.
"The UAE's hosting of COP28 is humble, responsibly and fully aware of the importance of the issues at hand, and maintaining the goal of global warming not exceeding 1.5°C is non-negotiable. It is clear that traditional business as usual will not lead to achieving this target on time, so we need a paradigm shift that restores momentum to climate action in the areas of mitigation, adaptation, finance, loss and damage."
Speaking about the key pillars of climate negotiations, he outlined key priorities in mitigation and adaptation, saying: "In terms of mitigation, we need to accelerate the construction of the clean energy ecosystem of the future, while reducing emissions from the current energy system. We need to triple the production capacity of renewable energy, double hydrogen production, expand the production of peaceful nuclear energy, improve battery energy storage systems, and expand carbon capture technology and enhance its efficiency. We also need to accelerate the energy transition in a realistic, logical, gradual and fair way that ensures that no one is left behind, especially for the 800 million people who currently lack energy in the Global South."
"It is essential to develop and reform food systems responsible for one-third of global emissions, adopt agricultural technologies to feed our planet's growing population without increasing emissions, and improve water use, so that everyone on the planet has access to safe and clean drinking water. During COP28, the development of food and water systems will receive the same attention as the transition in the energy sector and industrial systems, because we need to progress in all sectors simultaneously."
His Excellency stressed the need to support individuals and parties most exposed to the repercussions of climate change, pointing to the need to strengthen support for adaptation to these repercussions and the adoption of nature-based solutions.
"COP28 is committed to achieving the global target on adaptation to climate change and finalizing agreement to double financing for adaptation. The Energy and Resources Institute has been at the forefront of adaptation's goal of protecting the most vulnerable people in the Global South. Adaptation also means preserving all life on the planet, protecting biodiversity, fragile natural ecosystems, and endangered species. During its presidency of COP28, the UAE shares India's firm conviction that protecting and respecting nature is a fundamental obligation, especially since environmental protection and climate action have been at the heart of the UAE's development strategy."
The COP28 President-designate explained that the paradigm shift we need to accelerate progress requires the provision of funding in an accessible and affordable manner, noting that the required funding is estimated at trillions of dollars.
He added: "A key enabler of providing this financing is the development of the performance of international financial institutions, multilateral development banks and specialized investment funds. We need to raise more concessional financing, attract more private sector financing, and target the countries most in need of investment, and this will be a key objective of COP28, and we will mobilize all stakeholders to achieve it."
His Excellency Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber pointed out that effective climate action offers great opportunities to create new jobs, innovate new business areas, sectors and industries, and achieve the greatest radical transformation in human growth and prosperity rates since the first industrial revolution.
His Excellency reiterated that the COP28 presidency will continue to listen, consult and communicate with everyone, bring them to the negotiating table and ensure that no one is left behind, and highlighted the importance of partnerships in order to advance towards building a sustainable future for all, saying: "We must ensure that progress truly includes everyone, we must maintain the goal of not exceeding 1.5°C, and end the lack of energy and water. Let's join forces around climate action to move humanity forward and demonstrate that we can support climate action simultaneously with economic growth."
"In the coming months, in collaboration with the COP28 Bureau team, I will continue to listen, consult and communicate with everyone, including civil society, indigenous peoples, the private sector, governments, women and youth."
He concluded by extending a call for cooperation, saying: "Let us join hands so that the next COP is a conference of practical results and inclusion of all, and let us remember that the world is advancing through partnership, not closure. Let's follow the motto of the Energy and Resources Institute that 'the best way to predict the future is to make it', so let's start working together to build a sustainable future."
Following his speech, His Excellency received an honor from Prateek Sharma, Vice President of the Institute of Energy and Resources (TERI), who awarded him the Distinguished Alumni Award for his achievements and contributions to the energy sector, as he is the first recipient of the award.