I welcome the appointment of Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber as the President of COP28, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates this year.
This is a pivotal year in the fight against climate change. The first global stocktake of progress towards meeting the Paris targets will conclude at COP28, and the truth is we are nowhere near where we need to be. This should spur action, and move beyond ideology and slogans to practical partnerships.
The single biggest factor in meeting the Paris targets will be the pace at which we can transition the world’s energy systems, which are responsible for 75 per cent of emissions. At the same time, we must ensure that those in developing countries who have contributed least to the crisis are equipped with the finance and technologies to adapt. Meeting this challenge will require a radical change in the way governments and public institutions engage with the private sector, and for existing partnerships to be strengthened and new partnerships forged to effectively channel finance and drive innovation.
The rapid deployment of private capital, prioritised by the Egyptian government at last year’s COP, will be crucial, and this requires governments to set out priorities, establish markets and underwrite risk, particularly for emerging technologies and in emerging markets.
Domestically and internationally, the UAE has shown leadership in climate investment and innovation. It is already one of the largest investors in renewables at home and abroad and is an innovator in technologies crucial to the energy transition, such as carbon capture and low-carbon hydrogen. The country is an exemplar of the public and private sector working in partnership. It has strong relationships with the Global North and South, East and West, and can be the honest broker needed to raise ambitions and seek real consensus.
Dr Al Jaber brings deep diplomatic and commercial experience through his work as the UAE’s special envoy on climate change and as the Chairman of Masdar, a leading renewables company. I am confident that Dr Al Jaber has both the standing and the capability to offer groundbreaking leadership for COP28.