Cop28 to deliver 'transformative action' as report raises alarm over progress

The UAE says Cop28 will be a launch pad for significant change in climate change fight

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, right, Cop28 President-designate, co-chairing the two-day Copenhagen Climate Ministerial. Photo: Wam
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The UAE has pledged to deliver a “transformational road map” to guide future climate action at Cop28 this year after a new report warned there is much to be done to limit global warming.

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, released on Monday, called for “deep, rapid and sustained greenhouse gas emissions reductions in all sectors” to support efforts to cap temperature rises to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, as set out by the Paris Agreement in 2015.

It puts forward a key target to nearly halve emissions over the next years, instead of allowing them to flatline or even increase.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, President-designate of Cop28, warned that the world was “way off target” in its mission to limit global warming in remarks at the Copenhagen Climate Ministerial summit on Monday.

“Incremental steps will simply not cut it, we need transformational progress in the next seven years across mitigation, adaptation, climate finance and loss and damage,” he said.

The Cop28 Presidency has responded to the findings of the IPCC report, promising to bring together the international community to lead the fight on climate change.

“The IPCC's AR6 report makes absolutely clear the importance of ambitious and transformative action to put the world back on track to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement,” the Cop28 Presidency said in a statement.

A duty to protect the vulnerable

“The world’s scientists tell us that we must bring down emissions rapidly to limit global warming and keep 1.5°C within reach. While doing so it is our responsibility to ensure that the most vulnerable who have done the least to cause climate change are protected against its increasingly severe impacts.”

The Cop28 climate conference aims to be a launch pad for much-needed progress.

“Cop28, hosted by the UAE, takes place in a crucial decade of action, at which we will undertake the first ever Global Stocktake since the Paris Agreement,” the statement continued.

“The UAE will utilise its Cop28 Presidency to drive consensus, reignite momentum for climate progress and deliver a transformational road map to guide future action.

“The IPCC AR6 report provides us with an ideal opportunity to undertake a fundamental course correction and to accelerate climate action that delivers new avenues for investment and growth along with a just transition that leaves no one behind.”

The Cop28 leadership stressed the importance of securing the support of big industries and investing heavily in the green agenda to bring about significant change.

“The international community must unite in promoting bold, ambitious, and practical solutions while prioritising inclusivity, enhanced accountability, and transparency. All stakeholders, particularly big industries, must go further and faster to get the world back on track.

“Such a transformation has the potential to unlock trillions of dollars of investment in a new and sustainable development pathway that can generate jobs and growth.

“The international financial institutions and multilateral development banks must be part of the solution. They must reform to enable a just energy transition and meet the needs of the most vulnerable, particularly across the global south.

“Let us work together, in solidarity, to deliver a plan that is based on the excellent work of the IPCC and is accelerated by truly global co-operation.”

Cop President-designate backs action plan

The Cop28 Presidency reaffirmed Dr Sultan Al Jaber's backing of the UN Secretary General’s call for climate solidarity and acceleration.

It said Cop28 leaders would support all countries in achieving the 1.5°C goal and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, which it said required “transformational progress in the next seven years”.

“Progress can only happen through partnership, not polarisation. We must accelerate decarbonisation of all industries. Governments need to adopt smart policies to incentivise breakthrough technologies and enable the rapid deployment of renewables and zero carbon energies,” the statement said.

“We should inject a business mindset, short-term KPIs and an ambitious action-orientated agenda to accelerate mitigation efforts and remember that the objective is to curb emissions, not progress.

“We need to rapidly build the new energy system and reduce emissions from today's energy mix before unplugging the current energy system.

“All governments, private sector, financial institutions, industry and NGOs must come together as one to meet the challenges with ambitious climate action that delivers benefits for the climate and the economy at the same time.”

Cop28 will be held at Expo City Dubai from November 30 to December 12.

Updated: March 21, 2023, 11:31 AM