H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, today designated Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber as President-Designate for the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28).
Shamma Al Mazrui, UAE Minister of State for Youth Affairs, and Razan Al Mubarak, IUCN President, will join Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber’s COP28 UAE team as the Youth Climate Champion and UN Climate Change High-Level Champion, respectively. The UAE will host the annual climate summit from November 30 to December 12, 2023, in Expo City in Dubai.
These appointments come at a crucial time, as the globe faces escalating climate impacts, threats to energy, food, and water security, and the need to reverse the loss of biodiversity.
Limiting global warming to 1.5C would need substantial emission reductions, a pragmatic, practical, and realistic approach to the energy transition, and more assistance for developing countries. The United Arab Emirates is dedicated to multilateral cooperation and an inclusive approach that brings together emerging economies with industrialized nations, civil society, and industry in order to achieve the necessary solutions and rate of change.
The declaration emphasizes the UAE’s regional leadership in climate action and its worldwide advocacy for sustainable energy. The UAE is home to three of the world’s largest and least expensive solar installations and has spent more than $50 billion in renewable energy projects in 70 countries, with plans to invest at least $50 billion over the next decade.
As the first country in the region to ratify the Paris Agreement, the first to commit to a reduction in emissions across the economy, and the first to announce a Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative, the United Arab Emirates is committed to increasing ambition in this crucial decade for climate action. The United Arab Emirates is honored to have been selected to host COP28.
Recognizing the crucial relevance of COP28 as the first Global Stocktake (GST) review after the Paris Agreement, its quest for this role was founded on its dedication to global responsibility and climate action. In light of this, the UAE has nominated a strong and diverse leadership team to facilitate realistic, inclusive, and transformative progress towards the success of COP28.
On 23 June 2022, following the formal news that the UAE will host COP28, a National Higher Committee was established to manage conference preparations. The Committee is led by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and consists of prominent officials from a number of authorities.
Dr. Al Jaber is the Vice Chairman of the Committee charged with overseeing COP28 preparations through a comprehensive and integrated plan in line with the UAE’s emphasis on sustainable development, collaboration, and cooperation with the international community, to ensure inclusion across all parties and to enable practical solutions that will bring long-term socioeconomic benefits to the region and the world.
Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), will continue to lead the UAE’s domestic efforts to address climate change, preserve the environment, transform food systems, coordinate the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and pave the way for the UAE Net Zero by 2050 initiative.
The UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative is essential for the UAE’s future sustainable economic development, will enable the establishment of new sectors and talents, and is crucial to the UAE’s commitment to fulfilling the Paris Agreement’s goals.
Dr. Al Jaber is Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT), served as Special Envoy for Climate Change for two periods (2010–2016, 2020–present), and actively participated in over ten COPs, including the historic 2015 Paris COP21. He brings two decades of senior business and leadership expertise in government, climate policy, and the renewable and conventional energy industries to this position.
Dr. Al Jaber is the first CEO to serve as COP President, having played a pivotal role in establishing the nation’s sustainable energy route. As the founding CEO of Masdar, he oversaw the company’s mission to accelerate the use of renewable energy in the UAE, the region, and the world.
Masdar has made significant contributions to the UAE’s renewable energy goals to date, playing a crucial role in growing the country’s portfolio with clean energy investments in over 40 nations, including a number of developing countries in Africa and Asia as well as fragile island states.
Under a new cooperation with TAQA, Mubadala, and ADNOC, Masdar is poised to become one of the world’s leading investors in renewable energy, with an ambitious goal of reaching 100GW of global renewable energy capacity by 2030. In 2009, under the direction of the leadership and with the enduring assistance of
Dr. Al Jaber spearheaded the United Arab Emirates’ successful application to host the headquarters of the United Nations “International Renewable Energy Agency” (IRENA) was established in Masdar City with the purpose of promoting clean technology and sustainable development worldwide.
As CEO of ADNOC since 2016, he has played a revolutionary role in decarbonizing and diversifying the company’s operations and investments, placed sustainability at the center of its business, and led an initiative to make today’s energies cleaner while investing in tomorrow’s clean energies. ADNOC was the first firm in its industry to get all of its grid electricity from clean nuclear and solar energy. It was also a pioneer in the use of carbon capture technology with the region’s first CCUS facility, and it diversified into hydrogen and renewable energies.
Under the leadership of Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, ADNOC is investing $15 billion over five years in its decarbonisation strategy and its new low-carbon solutions business, including the expansion of its carbon capture capacity to 5 MMTPA by 2030 and its shareholding in Masdar, as it strives to reach net-zero carbon intensity by 2050.
Throughout his career, he has pioneered a responsible and pragmatic strategy to accelerate the energy transition, one that incorporates climate action, energy accessibility, energy security, and economic prosperity.
As COP28 President-Designate, Dr. Al Jaber will play a critical role in leading the intergovernmental process, fostering consensus, and delivering ambitious climate objectives with a wide variety of partners, including the business and civil society sectors.
In 2009, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon also invited Dr. Al Jaber to his Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change (AGECC), which served as the foundation for the Sustainable Energy for All program announced in 2011. In 2010, he got an Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy from India’s TERI University, and in 2012, he received the UN Champions of the Earth award for his efforts to advance renewable energy solutions to alleviate climate change’s concerns.
Dr. Al Jaber, commenting on his nomination as President of COP28, stated, “This will be a crucial year in a crucial decade for climate action. The United Arab Emirates approaches COP28 with a strong feeling of duty and the highest degree of ambition conceivable. Together with the UNFCCC and the COP27 Presidency, we will advocate for an inclusive agenda that increases action on mitigation, promotes a just energy transition that leaves no one behind, ensures substantial, affordable climate finance is directed to the most vulnerable, accelerates funding for adaptation, and establishes a robust funding facility to address loss and damage.”
“By doing so, we will provide a pragmatic, solution-focused, and solution-focused approach to climate change and low-carbon economic growth. We shall thus adopt a strategy that involves all stakeholders, including those from the public and business sectors, civil society, the scientific community, women, and youth. We must pay special attention to how climate action can satisfy the needs of the Global South, which is the region most affected by climate change.”
He continued, “I firmly think that climate action represents a tremendous economic opportunity for investments in sustainable growth. Investment is the key to unlocking climate action, and we are committed to supporting and assisting the continuing reform of international financial institutions in order to increase public financing, leverage private finance, and enhance access.”
“Pragmatism and healthy discourse must drive our advancement. As a nation situated at the crossroads of the world, the UAE is well-positioned to develop bridges, foster agreement, and unite the world in a quest to preserve 1.5C and protect the planet for future generations.”
“COP28 will conduct the very first Global Stocktake (GST) after the Paris Agreement,” he said. “The GST will lay the groundwork for building momentum for this and future COPs, and the UAE will seek an ambitious result from the GST negotiating process. This will be a crucial time to mobilize political will to implement what science tells us must be done to stay on track and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050.”
The Youth Climate Champion
The UN Climate Change High-Level Champion and Youth Climate Champion for COP28 UAE were named to coincide with Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber’s announcement as COP28 President-Designate.
In advance of and at the annual climate conference, the new Champions will mobilize action from corporations, investors, organizations, cities, regions, and all of civil society, including youth.
Shamma Al Mazrui will serve as the Youth Climate Champion, a newly created position aimed to raise the global youth voice throughout the COP process and ensuring the prioritization of young people’s talents and abilities. Al Mazrui will collaborate with local and global stakeholders to give youth with chances for capacity building and funding mechanisms for young innovations in the sector.
She is the Minister of State for Youth Affairs in the United Arab Emirates, where she focuses on youth empowerment and capacity building. The Youth Climate Champion role is a recognition of the need to empower young people in the climate action process and to capitalize on the innovative talents, capabilities, and abilities of the approximately 2 billion young people in the globe.
The UAE has made great achievements in the youth portfolio throughout the years, most notably with the 2016 appointment of Al Mazrui as the world’s youngest minister. Al Mazrui is also the Vice Chair of the Arab Youth Centre, the Secretary General of the Education and Human Resources Council, the President of the National Centre for Education Quality, and the Chairperson of Special Olympics UAE.
Razan Al Mubarak will serve as the UN High-Level Champion for Climate Change with the mandate to improve engagement and mobilize efforts from non-state actors, including commercial sector partners, cities and other sub-national governments, indigenous peoples, and civil society. Al Mubarak’s illustrious career and influence in conservation and environmental management throughout the public and commercial sectors make her ideally suited to connect non-state players with government initiatives to promote more climate action.
As the current President of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Al Mubarak is responsible for implementing the organization’s vision, mission, and strategy. IUCN represents over 1,400 members from 160 countries, including states, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations.
UAE as the Host
As the host of COP28, the United Arab Emirates will seek to develop consensus and alliances to accomplish a feasible, pragmatic, and equitable energy transition, reform land use and food systems, and scale up adaptation and the new loss and damage fund.
Over 70,000 participants, including heads of state, government officials, international industry leaders, private sector representatives, academics, experts, youth, and non-state actors, are expected to attend the Conference to discuss climate change and showcase innovative solutions that can support multilateral cooperation and climate diplomacy.
The UAE has established itself as a location of international renown for organizing high-level conferences on climate action and sustainable development. With decades of experience investing in clean energy solutions domestically and internationally, the UAE is pushing a new low-emissions economic growth model that aspires to generate the future’s industries, skills, and employment.
Brazil launched the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992. The Conferences are official gatherings that have been conducted yearly since 1995 to identify ways to mitigate the effects of climate change.
As a legacy of hope for future generations, the UAE looks forward to welcome the globe to COP28 and collaborating with all stakeholders to reach balanced, ambitious, and inclusive solutions.