Mariam Al Mheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, has vowed the UAE will get behind African nations and support them to obtain the climate finance they require.
She made her comments while speaking with ministers at the Africa Food Systems Forum (AGRF), state news agency Wam reported on Sunday evening.
The forum, which was organised by AGRA, took place during a historic week for UAE – Africa relations, after the UAE pledged $4.5 billion in support of clean energy projects at the Africa Climate Summit.
“At Cop28, we will stand alongside African nations and advocate for greater climate finance to go towards food system transformation initiatives," she said.
"Africa is responsible for just a small fraction of greenhouse gas emissions; it is only fitting that you receive all the support available to strengthen your food systems, which are so severely threatened by climate change.”
She said this has been a pivotal and historic week for the African continent.
"Just a few days ago, the Nairobi Declaration was endorsed in addition to billions of dollars in commitments to enable African countries achieve inclusive green growth in the face of climate change," she said.
"On behalf of the UAE, we are truly honored to make our $4.5 billion contribution to unlock Africa’s clean energy potential.
Further, our discussions at this Forum reaffirm the need to transform food systems to make them more resilient and inclusive and leverage them as engines of economic growth and prosperity for all."
These events have also set a firm foundation for Cop28, where energy, finance, and food will be key elements of the UAE’s Cop28 presidency agenda, she added.
She also called upon African nations to signal their commitment to working towards improving food systems by signing the Leaders Declaration on Food Systems, Agriculture and Climate Action.
“Climate change is a present, intensifying crisis that demands our immediate attention,” she said.
“To address it, we must place food system transformation at the heart of our discussions. The UAE’s Cop28 Presidency believes strongly that there is no path to realising the Paris Agreement goals without contending with food systems and climate change action."
The UAE’s goal was for Cop28 to act as a global turning point for climate change by refocusing efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, ensure inclusive climate financing, and deliver initiatives that will protect lives and livelihoods, added Ms Al Mheiri.