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With the approach of COP28, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, the designated President of the summit and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, has outlined a comprehensive plan of action built on four key pillars: energy transition, climate finance, people, and inclusivity. In November, the summit will oversee a historic global stocktake, assessing the progress made in mitigating the effects of climate change on a global scale.
Al Jaber announced his vision at a climate meeting in Brussels involving 26 nations, “Today, I am proud to lay out a science-based, action-oriented plan and focused on a new way forward.” He added that he challenges the nations to act in solidarity and put the interests of humanity first, as the key to his plan’s success rests on their actions.
The COP28 President-designate also emphasized the importance of early progress and fulfilling long-standing commitments. “We need to challenge old models built for the last century. We need to break down silos that are slowing progress. And we need to bridge divides blocking critical breakthroughs,” said Al Jaber.
Al Jaber expects countries to update their emission plans by September to align to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This deadline is earlier than the 2025 reduction plan set by the Paris Agreement. Additionally, the UAE has recently increased its target for emission cuts to 40% from the previous target of 31%.
The first pillar of the plan focuses on accelerating the energy transition. This entails nations expanding their deployment of clean power sources and enhancing energy efficiency. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber urged countries to utilize all available “emission-busting tools,” including nuclear power and battery storage, to achieve their goals. He also highlighted the importance of increasing renewable energy generation and aiming to reach a hydrogen production capacity of 180 million tonnes annually by 2030. Additionally, Dr. Al Jaber emphasized that oil companies should work towards eliminating methane emissions by 2030.
The second pillar focuses on climate finance and aims to reform the existing system, which currently lacks accessibility, availability, and affordability. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber stressed the importance of doubling funds for adaptation by 2025. He urged rich countries to fulfill their long-overdue commitment of providing $100 billion in annual climate funding before COP28. The goal is to make climate finance a more accessible and viable option.
The third pillar of the plan takes a human-centered approach, prioritizing the population’s livelihoods regarding nature, food, and health. Notably, COP28 stands out as the first UN climate summit to dedicate specific attention to health as a subject matter. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber recognizes the vital role of health as an enabler of climate action and emphasizes the importance of transforming food systems and addressing this critical issue. The focus is on promoting sustainable practices that positively impact people and the planet.
Inclusivity is fundamental to the COP28 agenda, ensuring everyone’s voice is heard. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber highlighted a large youth climate delegate program and the provision of a pavilion for indigenous peoples at the summit. Recognizing that addressing climate change requires the engagement of all individuals, generations, and communities, Dr. Al Jaber emphasized that total inclusivity will be a defining characteristic of the COP28 presidency.
Frans Timmermans, the European Commission’s Vice President and Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal, sees COP28 as a chance to set higher ambitions than previous summits.
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