Cop28 in Dubai will aim for 'action more than ideas', London conference told

UAE diplomat says clean tech will help the world to create economic growth and jobs while protecting the planet

High-tech power grids are among the innovations tipped to smooth the journey to net zero. Reuters
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Emerging technology will allow the world to make progress while "coexisting peacefully with our fragile planet", an Emirati diplomat said on Tuesday.

Khaled Al Qasimi, the deputy head of mission at the UAE's embassy in the UK, told a London conference that technology such as electric cars and smart power grids were an "indispensable pillar" of the battle against global warming.

The London Climate Technology Show heard a call for the Cop28 summit in Dubai to promote the use of green innovations.

The UAE wants the UN climate conference to be "the first of many to come where we see action more than ideas", Mr Al Qasimi said.

The world will use Cop28 to sign off the first “global stock-take”, checking on what has been done to tackle climate change.

A report underpinning the stock-take calls for existing clean tech to be “rapidly deployed” alongside an “accelerated innovation, development and transfer of new technologies”.

Cecilia Kinuthia-Njenga, a UN official overseeing collective climate progress, called this a “fundamental finding” of the stock-take.

Developing countries often use climate talks to insist that the race to net zero should not stand in the way of their economic development, with new technology tipped to square the circle.

The UN expects countries at Cop28 to “join forces and advance the uptake of climate technology to achieve an inclusive, transformative and sustainable future for all,” Ms Kinuthia-Njenga said.

Mr Al Qasimi said developments such as smart power grids, electric vehicles and green construction methods were a path to "lower carbon footprints, while also creating new economic opportunities".

“In our efforts against global warming, technology is an indispensable pillar," he said.

“As the world’s population grows and industrialisation advances, so does the need for energy and resources. It is an undisputed fact that technology enables us to decouple progress from environmental deterioration.

“It allows us to meet our energy and resource needs while coexisting peacefully with our fragile planet. Technology must pave the way to a more sustainable, affluent future."

The call to deploy clean tech is one of 17 "key findings" in the stock-take report handed to world leaders. It says research and development "is vital" to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, especially in "hard to abate" industries which typically use large amounts of energy generated by fossil fuels.

The stock-take, the first under the 2015 Paris Agreement, will conclude its "political phase" at the summit in Dubai where almost 200 countries will decide what to make of the progress report.

Updated: September 26, 2023, 3:09 PM