UAE to host business leaders and philanthropists at Cop28 forum

Event aims to advance net-zero progress and nature-positive goals

The logo of Cop28 UAE during the World Future Energy Summit 2023 in Abu Dhabi. EPA
Powered by automated translation

The Cop28 summit in the UAE will host an international group of business leaders, philanthropists and policymakers as part of a forum to mobilise action and advance progress around net zero and nature positive goals.

The Business and Philanthropy Climate Forum will be held on December 1 and 2, at the beginning of the two-week climate conference that runs from November 30 to December 12, the Cop28 presidency said on Thursday.

“To disrupt business as usual and fix climate finance we need action from everyone,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Cop28 President-designate.

“We are committed to underpinning everything at Cop28 with full inclusivity and we want to bring together key stakeholders to work on collective solutions.

“Businesses and philanthropists must play leading roles in meeting net-zero pathways and delivering sustainable development and at Cop28 they will have a platform to do so.”

The forum is expected to engage more than 500 chief executives and philanthropists for a flagship session on December 1. This will be followed by full-day sessions on December 2.

The event, chaired by the Cop28 special representative for business and philanthropy Badr Jafar, will tackle key priorities related to the conference’s agenda, which includes fast-tracking an “orderly” energy transition and “fixing” climate finance.

“The private sector holds the greatest promise to accelerate the accomplishment of our climate and nature global goals, which is why Cop28 will ensure business and philanthropy are embraced as critical partners,” said Mr Jafar, who is also the chief executive of Crescent Enterprises.

“This is what is needed to deliver scalable solutions that can positively transform the lives of billions of people.”

Developing countries require an investment of about $1.7 trillion per year in the clean energy sector but only managed $544 billion in 2022, Unctad said in its World Investment Report in July.

A meeting of the Independent High-Level Expert Group on Climate Finance gathered at Abu Dhabi Global Market last month to discuss setting up a new framework for international climate finance.

The fresh road map will include addressing debt distress in vulnerable countries and the role of the private sector.

A new framework needs to be comprehensive and unlock a “supercharged” stream of private capital, Dr Al Jaber, who is also Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and managing director and group chief executive of Adnoc, said at the event.

“All forms of finance must be made more available, more accessible and more affordable,” he said. Multilateral development banks “must be adequately capitalised and provide much more concessional finance to lower risk and bring more private capital to the table”, he added.

Updated: September 07, 2023, 10:16 AM