UAE to host Cop28 in 2023 after UN approval in Glasgow

    14 Nov 2021

    The UAE will host the 28th UN global climate talks in 2023, after a decision made by the body in Glasgow on Thursday night to accept the Emirates’ bid to run the negotiations. UAE believes climate action is an opportunity to achieve sustainable economic growth, The National News states.

    A plenary meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change approved the motion, under the dates and venues of future sessions, for the meeting to open in the UAE on November 6, 2023.

    “There being no objections, it is decided,” declared Cop26 president Alok Sharma.

    Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, tweeted after the announcement that the UAE would put everything towards making Cop28 a success.

    “We congratulate the Emirates for winning the bid to host the most important conference for climate Cop28, for 2023 … a deserved win for our country … we will put all our capabilities for the conference to succeed … the UAE will remain committed to global climate action to protect our planet Earth,” he said.

    Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, said the UAE was “honored” to be the host country for Cop28.

    “We look forward to working with the international community to accelerate global efforts to address climate change and environmental protection and create a more sustainable economic future,” Sheikh Mohamed tweeted after the decision.

    Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, said Sheikh Zayed “the founding father of the UAE had the highest regard for the environment, and it is his legacy which has inspired the progress we have made over the past 50 years to diversify our economy – and will continue to inspire us as we strive to safeguard the well-being of present and future generations.

    “Cop28 in 2023 will and must be a ‘solutions Cop’ – and I am confident that the rich experience of this young, inclusive nation in advancing practical, viable and shareable solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges will again come to the fore as we host the world for the UN Climate Change Conference in two years’ time,” he said, according to Wam.

    “The UAE Net-Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, announced earlier this year, shows our own unwavering commitment to promoting climate action. Further, through new investment commitments and partnerships, we are illustrating our determination to support the world in addressing climate change.”

    Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Special Envoy for Climate Change, told the meeting that the UAE would promote inclusive negotiations on sustainable economic growth.

    “The UAE views this trust as a grand responsibility, particularly as the Cop in 2023 will be a juncture and a very important landmark after the Paris Agreement, as it will witness the first stocktake of national contributions,” said Dr Al Jaber.

    “As well as pushing forward climate action, we will continue working to build on the achievements made in the previous meetings and conferences, guided by our great leadership that focuses on building bridges and making partnerships as well as adopting a comprehensive and positive approach.”

    Mariam Al Mheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said that hosting Cop28 was an opportunity to “bring the world together to explore effective solutions to the most pressing challenges our planet faces”.

    She said: “We are grateful to the nations that have supported our bid to host the crucial event. As the land of opportunities and collaborations, we look forward to bringing the world together to explore effective solutions to the most pressing challenges our planet faces.”

    In the first stage of the proceedings to wrap up the UK presidency of Cop26, delegates were given the task of awarding a venue for the 27th instalment of the talks to save the planet. The summit will be held in Cairo next year.

    Key elements of the motion on the Emirates read that the UNFCCC “accepts with appreciation the offer of the government of the United Arab Emirates to host the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties, the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol and the fifth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the parties to the Paris Agreement from Monday, 6 November, to Friday, 17 November 2023″.

    The UN system was instructed to start working with the UAE officials to establish the process.

    It went on to say that the UNFCCC meeting as a body “requests the Executive Secretary to initiate consultations with the government of the United Arab Emirates and to conclude a Host Country Agreement for convening the sessions, pursuant to United Nations General Assembly resolution 40/243 and the provisions of United Nations administrative instruction ST/AI/342, including its annex, containing the model conference agreement, with a view to signing the Host Country Agreement as soon as possible, preferably before the fifty-eighth sessions of the subsidiary bodies (June 2023), so as to allow for its prompt implementation”.

    To ensure a seamless process, the UN is in place to assist the establishment of the Cop28 structures.

    The UNFCCC, it said, “also requests the Executive Secretary to provide the host country with technical support and guidance on UNFCCC policies and requirements, taking into account the issues raised by parties regarding the organisation of sessions, and to report back regularly to the bureau of the governing bodies”.

    Earlier on Thursday, Dr Al Jaber said he looked forward to “working closely” with US counterpart John Kerry at Cop28 should the Emirates be confirmed as host, after a meeting with the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate in Glasgow.

    This month, the member states of the UN’s Asia-Pacific Group announced their support for the UAE’s bid to host Cop28. The Arab League has also given its support.

    The UAE last month set out a strategic initiative to achieve net zero-carbon emissions by 2050.

     

    UAE hosting COP28 signifies its great position globally: Ministers

    A number of ministers have praised the UAE’s winning the right to host the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in 2023, the largest global conference of heads of state and government on climate and environmental issues.

    In their statements on this spectacular occasion, the ministers attributed the victory to the great position that the UAE occupies at all Arab, regional and international levels, thanks to the insightful vision of the wise leadership, which seeks to look next fifty years filled with hope, work, progress, growth and prosperity by citizens, sustaining the previous past five decades of the Union full of achievements.

    All these accomplishments were for the happiness of all those who live in the UAE, both citizens and residents.

    As host of the 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28), the world will see UAE is expediting climate action at the forefront of its economic development agenda in the years to come. It will unlock new great opportunities and drive change toward a more prosperous and sustainable business and investment environment, the UAE Cabinet Ministers said.

    In their congratulatory statements after UAE winning the right to host COP28, Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, noted, “Healthcare is intrinsically linked with pollution, and COP28 is a platform to discuss all forms of pollution and its effect on health. The UAE has always supported health initiatives in other countries, and as long as climate change and health are linked, we must all work collectively to seek viable solutions to stem emissions, reduce air pollution and save our oceans.”

    Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, stated, “Clean energy is at the heart of our strategy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. In terms of achievements to-date in this context, we are proud to be the first country in the region to produce zero-carbon nuclear power, introduce carbon capture technology, and operate the first solar-driven green hydrogen-producing facility.

    “Our ability to use the power of natural resources – whether solar, wind, hydrogen or low carbon intensity hydrocarbons – has been a significant step. The UAE’s clean energy capacity is expected to reach 12 GW by 2025. Globally we have contributed nearly US$17 billion in aid to support renewable projects in 50 countries. COP28 in the UAE will help us to create stronger partnerships and build on these efforts – locally and internationally.”

    Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, said, “In a continued effort to innovate and pursue programs that raise awareness across society, regarding the risks of climate inaction, the UAE has set targeted policies that encourage and facilitate the move towards taking fundamental action.

    “Programmes such as the Climate Innovations Exchange and the Youth for Sustainability Initiative work diligently to encourage our youth to become active leaders in the worlds transition towards effective and practical sustainability, in addition to bringing young entrepreneurs and investors together so as to work towards delivering sustainable climate solutions.

    “COP28 in the UAE will only serve to further fuel the next generations passion and curiosity in taking action for a better plant and a better future,” she added.

    Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, commented, “The quantum leaps in economic growth and diversification that were achieved in the UAE over the past few decades were the result of an unyielding approach to excel in charting new frontiers in sustainable economic development. As we have done so far, we shall continue to work closely with the international community to help achieve a sustainable future for people throughout the globe.

    “Expediting climate action will be at the forefront of our economic development agenda in the years to come as we believe it will unlock new great opportunities and drive change toward a more prosperous and sustainable business and investment environment. As part of our commitment for a brighter future for all and to help drive the international climate change agenda forward, we are seeking to host COP28. Hosting such an important international environmental gathering will provide the UAE the opportunity to proudly continue to lead by example in the region and beyond.”

    Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said, “The UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative will help to drive significant investment in a sustainable economy. A sustainable economy that embraces new technologies, ensures gender diversity, and provides good jobs to the next generation. Hosting COP28 will accelerate the transformation of our labour market to meet those goals, attracting high skilled human capital that can create growth through clean energy and green infrastructure.”

    Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, said, “The Ministry of Education has always been keen on improving climate change education in the schools and enabling UAE citizens to become leaders in driving international efforts to overcome the global climate challenges. In this regard, the Ministry has collaborated with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to promote the awareness of students in renewable and sustainable energy development and enable them to play a major role in the achievement of the relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Ministry’s partnership with IRENA outlines the roadmap for integrating sustainable development into the UAE education system.”

    Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said, “As the backbone of the UAE and global economy, SMEs have much to gain from doing their part in reducing the effects of climate change. COP28 is not only a chance for the UAE to underline its leading role in the future of global sustainable business, but it will bring enormous economic advantages to our nation. We hope the thriving small business ecosystem will showcase its world-class sustainable business activities. We look forward to welcoming world leaders and policy shapers to see for themselves how the UAE has codified sustainability into the economy; from logistics to leisure, technology to transport.”

    Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, stated, “Increasingly, foreign direct investors need to look at potential investment projects through the lens of sustainability. The UAE has long been well-positioned as a global business hub. COP28 is a chance for the UAE to showcase its leadership in sustainability, and I am certain that hosting the event will lead to even greater flows of FDI. We encourage businesses of all sizes to incorporate here in the UAE, with incentives ranging from low tax regimes to green building initiatives.”

    Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology, said the UAE is well placed to take a global leadership stance in stemming climate change through use of technology.

    “COP28 is a perfect opportunity for world leaders and thought leaders to join us in mitigating climate change,” she added.

    “I believe the key to reducing emissions is embracing the innovative technologies which herald the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). The UAE’s approach to climate emission reduction has always centered on the partnership, and we must share our knowledge globally to find best-fit solutions. The 4IR technologies concern unprecedented levels of connectivity and data analysis. Employing bleeding-edge technologies and sharing data will mean together, we can gain better insight than ever before into our planetary issues,” Al Amiri stated.

    Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Teleworking Applications, said, “Hosting COP28 will not only be a chance for us to explain our sustainable AI activities, but allow world leaders to see first-hand how artificial intelligence can bring real world results.

    “Innovation is a key driver in the UAE’s development, and it is needed more than ever to halt the stem of emissions. AI is truly a powerful tool that adds significant momentum to implementing the UAE’s sustainability agenda. We have partnered with international AI innovators to undertake deep research and analysis into helping solve the global climate issue. For instance, our AI Lab monitors and analyses levels and sources of air and marine pollution, and identifies concentrated solar power locations that can serve as ideal installation sites for solar panels.”

    Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State, noted, “Our private sector has already begun to integrate environmental and social risks into their business models. From adopting technology innovation to developing environmental goods and services, businesses play a crucial role. Hosting COP28 will allow us to create economic diversification and growth while also maintaining a sustainable competitive edge.”

     Masdar CEO, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, said: ”The United Arab Emirates being selected as the host nation for #COP28 in 2023 reflects the vision and foresight of our leadership in starting the #UAE on the path to a sustainable future many years ago, and builds on the legacy of environmental preservation and sustainable growth left by our nation’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.”

     

     

    Analysis: COP 28: Global recognition for UAE’ anti-warming efforts (by Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, Director General of the Emirates News Agency (WAM))

    The UN’s decision in Glasgow on Thursday night to accept the UAE’s bid to host the 28th UN global climate talks in 2023 translates in no uncertain terms the international confidence in the country’s decade-long anti-global warming efforts and its forward-thinking vision for economic growth.

    “There being no objections; it is decided,” so declared COP26 President Alok Sharma the UAE’s win of hosting the highly significant session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 28) in 2023.

    The successful bid comes to corroborate the UAE’s determination to “working with the international community to accelerate global efforts to address climate change & environmental protection & create a more sustainable economic future,” as His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, put it.

    In a report echoing the UAE’s anti-warming efforts, CNBC said that “playing host for COP28 would be an achievement in the climate sphere for the Middle East, the world’s hottest, driest and most water-scarce region. By 2030, temperatures are expected to increase more than twice the global average.

    “The UAE plans to increase its oil production capacity to more than 5 million barrels per day by 2030, and is constructing a coal-fired power plant. Nevertheless, its pitch to host COP28 seeks to elevate its efforts to make climate action a pillar of its domestic and foreign policy and national economic strategy, according to a 19-page official document reviewed by CNBC.”

    This global recognition of the UAE’s climate action had been accentuated before by the man steering the helm of this pressing file in the United States, Mr John Kerry, the United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, who led congratulations from world leaders and prominent environmental policy-makers to the UAE for its Net Zero 2050 Strategic Initiative, calling it an “incredibly important” step in combating climate change.

    It goes without saying that climate action has become a burning issue for the future of humanity at large. Therefore the UAE adopted a forward-looking vision decades ago to address it in the best possible manner. The ambitious Net Zero 2050 Strategic Initiative announced in October meant AED600 billion will be invested in clean and renewable energy sources in the next three decades. The groundbreaking move came in unison with the longstanding vision of the UAE and its people to make a significant contribution to global sustainability efforts while supporting economic and human development both at home and around the world.

    Not to mention the track record UAE boasts in organizing key global events. After winning the UN’s approval to host this global conference, the UAE will continue to forge ahead with its endeavors to ensure collective climate action and take advantage of the opportunities up for grabs to help protect critical natural resources for ours and future generations.

    The UAE ushers into its next 50 year-journey with high ambition and determination to make a paradigm shift in the international response to climate change challenges in order to turn them into promising opportunities for sustained growth and prosperity. The UAE is now a land of opportunities where creative minds come together for the service, benefit and welfare of humanity.

     

     

    What Cop28 in the UAE will offer a planet in crisis. It’s time for the global conversation on climate to shift to the Gulf

    At this year’s Cop26, the world saw the many different ways the region’s countries are joining the conversation. And now, the Middle East is showing it wants to not just be part of the solution, but a home for it, too. The latest example came on Thursday, when it was announced that the UAE will host Cop28, scheduled to be held in 2023.

    The UAE’s leaders congratulated the country for winning the bid to host the “most important” of meetings, The National News reports.

    Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, tweeted after the announcement that the UAE would put everything towards making Cop28 a success.

    Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, said the UAE looked forward “to working with the international community to accelerate global efforts to address climate change and environmental protection and create a more sustainable economic future”.

    After the decision, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, offered a reminder that it was Sheikh Zayed, the Founding Father of the UAE, who has inspired “us as we strive to safeguard the well-being of present and future generations”.

    “Cop28 in 2023 will and must be a ‘solutions Cop’ – and I am confident that the rich experience of this young, inclusive nation in advancing practical, viable, and shareable solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges will again come to the fore as we host the world for the UN Climate Change Conference in two years’ time,” he said, according to Wam.

    “The UAE Net-Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, announced earlier this year, shows our own unwavering commitment to promoting climate action. Further, through new investment commitments and partnerships, we are illustrating our determination to support the world in addressing climate change.”

    Choosing the UAE to host Cop28 is also another huge moment for the environmental movement in the region, which will follow in the footsteps of Cop27, to be held in Egypt.

    Having back-to-back conferences in the Middle East and North Africa is a sign of how the event is changing. Its early years were confined to Europe, when the foresight of countries such as Germany spotted the need for it as far back as the 1990s. But, as the global significance of the issue at hand becomes clear, Cop has been held all over the world. Now, it is very much in its Middle Eastern phase.

    And that has much to offer the world. In the most basic sense, the region is an early example of the dangers ahead. It is the most water-stressed part of the planet, with a rising temperature double the global average. This burden will be borne by some of the most fragile societies, made up of people who often have known few of the highly polluting luxuries for which the developed world is largely responsible.

    But reconfiguring this conversation is not just about the UAE’s efforts; the successful bid would not have been possible without the backing a number of other countries, including all member states of the UN’s Asia-Pacific Group and the Arab League. It is this ability to rally global support that will also make Cop28 one to watch. At this year’s meeting, the atmosphere between the world’s biggest emitters has not been easy, something that may stop the event reaching its full potential. Agreement may become easier as the conversation shifts to new geographies.

    And Cop is not just about getting governments on board, but industry, too. Earlier this month, The National spoke to Claire O’Neill, managing director of climate and energy for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Discussing the prospect of upcoming conferences in the Middle East, Ms O’Neill said: “I think the next Cop cycle will be a new chance to amplify those of the world’s most sustainable businesses who are committed to net zero by 2050, nature positive and committed to reducing inequality and total transparency in reporting.”

    A hub for international business, the UAE would also be a particularly strong location for major industries to discuss how they might contribute to fighting climate change outside western contexts. After all, a corporate sustainability strategy that works in the US or Scandinavia might well not work in the Middle East or the rest of the world. We are already seeing this mixing of expertise at work at Expo 2020 Dubai, where a number of countries and companies from all over the world are providing sustainable engineering for the UAE’s desert location.

    As part of its commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement, the UAE recently announced it has stepped up its plans to plant mangroves, and now aims to plant 100 million by 2030. After Thursday’s announcement on Cop28, the UAE will help plant the seeds for a new regional culture of environmentalism, too.

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    Young Arabs are increasingly willing to ‘boycott brands that damage the environment’. You may read more here.

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