Delegates and visitors to the Munich Security Conference heard officials speak of their hopes that the Cop28 summit in Dubai this November can put the world back on track towards its climate goals.
Robert Habeck, Germany’s Minister for Economy and Climate, told a panel that transformation must result in a renewal of globalisation, not a turning away from co-operation. He said a UAE-led foreign development project was an example of what is needed.
“One of the best examples I know is coming from the Middle East,” he said. “The UAE is financing a large solar installation in Jordan to desalinate the seawater off the coast of Israel. The water will benefit Israel and Jordan. I think this in this region is a really fine example of solutions.”
John Kerry, the US climate envoy, said he was confident of a range of solutions emerging from the Cop28.
He said: “I am absolutely convinced that the UAE is going to be able to make a difference precisely because it has been so focused on oil and gas. We look forward to working with the team and we’re excited about it.”
Mariam Al Mheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said a focus on a just transition approach was essential.
“This Cop28 is going to be a Cop summit for everybody. We need the oil and gas sector to be with us, we need to shift the way they are doing business. We need to decarbonise what they are doing and then phase out oil and gas in a just way.”
At another panel, Ms Al Mheiri made the point that the Paris process was designed to be just.
“This can be pro-growth and pro-climate,” she said. “This is the pathway we must take.
“We also understand that there are other countries that are not in the situation we are in and they will still need oil and gas. Yes, we are phasing out but again, this is a just energy transition. We always have to think of affordability as well.”
Ms Al Mheiri pointed to the scheduled release of the global stocktake on progress under the Paris Accords as a moment for the world to sit up and take notice of the challenges ahead.
“We know the results of the global stocktake are going to be shown at Cop28,” she said. “We know already that we are completely off track.”
It was the aim of the UAE to ensure the preparations for the meeting would be bridge-building for the required solutions.