The United Arab Emirates launched its presidency of global climate talks with Sultan Al Jaber, who served as climate envoy to the country, and chief of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), taking on the pivotal role of president.
Al Jaber is also the minister of industry and advanced technology for UAE and head of the Masdar company, which focuses on renewable energy.
The COP28 UN climate summit, which will take place in November-December, will determine whether the world can get on track to tackle the climate crisis. This year, nations must conduct a “global stocktake” assessing the current state of climate action and progress on fulfilling the goals of the 2015 Paris agreement.
COP27, held in Egypt last November, concluded with the adoption of a “loss and damage fund” to aid poor countries affected by climate change but failed to set new ambitions for lowering greenhouse gas emissions, although there was a strong push from more than 80 countries for the conference to declare support for a phase-down of oil and gas as well as coal.
While some countries have submitted national plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions, many still need to. One of the roles of the presidency will be to hold countries to account and work for the rapid phase-out of fossil fuels needed to stay within the increasingly fragile 1.5C goal.
The UAE is spending billions on developing enough renewable energy and targeting domestic carbon neutrality, which excludes emissions from its exported oil. ADNOC, the world’s 12th biggest oil company, has been a critical driver of the social and economic development of the UAE and a key enabler of its economic diversification.
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