Getting global climate goals back on track means the Cop28 summit in the UAE must rise to meet high expectations and overcome low levels of trust, especially in the countries hardest hit by change, said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, the meeting’s president-designate.
Pointing to the latest report that the world was “off-track” to meet the Paris Agreement’s goal of a 43 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030, Dr Al Jaber said the first global stocktake at the summit must prove to be a historic turning point.
“We have no choice but to get real now,” he said. “We must unite and seize the moment of the Global Stocktake to put the world on the right track to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
“Cop28 needs to deliver an action plan that engages the public and private sector to achieve transformational results. This will be underpinned by a robust negotiated response to the Global Stocktake.”
Speaking at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin, which is jointly hosted by Germany and the UAE, the Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, special envoy for climate change and chairman of Masdar, said a listening tour by the Cop28 team had heard efforts to meet the finance needs driven by climate change must be supercharged.
“In my meetings with climate, finance and development ministers across the global south, what I hear time and again is that climate finance is simply not available, not accessible and not affordable,” he said.
Looking to rebuild the trust gap, Dr Al Jaber said he wanted developed countries to make good on long-promised commitments.
“Developing countries are still waiting for the $100 billion promised by developed countries 14 years ago,” he said. “At Cop28, I expect ambitious, transparent and accountable commitments from countries and businesses that will shape policies in parliaments and budgets in boardrooms.”
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said the good news was the $100 billion target could be met this year. She also called for much wider accessibility to renewable energy technology, especially in Africa as she mooted the possibility of whether “should and can” reach a target on renewables. She too highlighted the importance of the first ever stocktake on climate goals at Cop28.
“Scientists are not going to give us a good report card,” she said.
The Petersburg meeting has become a fixture of a process of getting countries together on the main themes of the approaching summit. It was also addressed by Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, the leading voices from the most affected nations and climate bodies.
Barbados’s Prime Minister Mia Mottley and UNFCCC executive secretary Simon Stiell commended the UAE listening exercise as a unifying process that should generate a spirit of coming together when the summit opens.
“It was very, very helpful,” said Mr Stiell. He said he was confident that Dubai’s Cop28 summit “will be a turning point for the world”.
Dr Al Jaber reiterated commitments to phase out fossil fuel emissions and phase up renewables.
“We will accelerate delivery in sectors like renewables that must triple capacity by 2030 and double it again by 2040,” he said. “We will encourage smart government regulation to jump start the hydrogen value chain and make carbon capture commercially viable.”
Dr Al Jaber also met US climate envoy John Kerry on Tuesday and they discussed accelerating global co-operation across “all pillars” of climate action ahead of Cop28.
The two-day gathering in Berlin was also addressed by high-level champion Razan Al Mubarak, who takes on a remit of climate progress for all at Cop28, and was introduced to Youth Climate Champion, Shamma Al Mazrui.