Trade to have special focus at Cop28 summit in Dubai

Dr Sultan Al Jaber says it is an essential tool in accelerating climate action

Cop28 will be held from November 30 to December 12 in Dubai. EPA
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International trade will receive special focus at the Cop28 summit in Dubai later this year, to highlight the key role it plays in accelerating climate action, officials have said.

A dedicated day will focus on trade – a first for the climate summit – under the UAE’s Cop28 presidency.

It will highlight trade's role as an enabler of climate-smart growth, including supply-chain resilience, the Ministry of Economy said on Thursday.

The ministry, the Cop28 presidency and Minister of State for Foreign Trade Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi will co-lead the committee on trade for the summit alongside the World Trade Organisation secretariat.

The UN Conference on Trade and Development, the International Chamber of Commerce, the World Economic Forum and the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development have also all been invited to help shape discussions during the summit, the ministry said.

“International trade, as a cornerstone of economic growth, jobs, and livelihoods, is an essential tool in accelerating climate action,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Cop28 President-designate and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology.

“It has the potential to unlock investments in emerging economies, to boost uptake of clean energy technologies, and to support green jobs and innovation.

“The inclusion of trade in the Cop28 thematic programme is a deliberate and targeted effort to bring more stakeholders on board in our effort to fast-track climate action.”

The summit begins in November when the world will complete a first-ever “global stocktake” of progress in limiting climate change and protecting the environment.

The organisers of the summit recently revealed a detailed agenda, which includes talks on health, relief, recovery and peace, finance, trade, gender equality and accountability as well as energy, industry and a just transition.

“As a global supply chain hub, the UAE understands how significant a role the international trading community can play in championing energy transition and delivering sustainable growth across the world,” Dr Al Zeyoudi said.

“We are excited that Cop28 will showcase the opportunities in the sector for future-focused thinking that can deliver a trading system that is smarter, faster and more inclusive – especially for SMEs [small and medium enterprises] and MSMEs [micro SMEs] across the developing world.”

The UAE’s non-oil foreign trade surged 17 per cent to reach a record Dh2.23 trillion ($607.1 billion) last year amid the country's economic diversification efforts.

The Arab world’s second largest economy is also forging new deals with various countries globally through Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements.

Six months to Cop28: Here's what to expect at the climate summit in Dubai

Six months to Cop28: Here's what to expect at the climate summit in Dubai

“We want to mobilise world leaders to unite in using trade policy and trade facilitation to scale up trade in environmental goods and services and to accelerate decarbonising supply chains and making them more inclusive and more resilient to climate shocks,” said WTO director general Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

The UAE views climate change mitigation as a major catalyst for sustainable socio-economic development, underpinned by a smart and circular economic strategy that “encourages the inclusive flow of trade, supply-chain efficiency, and trade tech, creating new opportunities for exporters, manufacturers and investors”, said Ahmed Al Zaabi, chairman of the economic development department.

“As the catalyst of Abu Dhabi’s economic growth and diversification, Added is doubling down its efforts in raising the emirate’s trade stature to new heights, elevating its competitive edge as a global trade and investment hub,” he said.

Updated: July 20, 2023, 1:28 PM