Dr Sultan Al Jaber, President-designate of the Cop28 summit, has called on G7 nations to lead by example and make climate finance more accessible and affordable, to speed up the energy transition.
Addressing the Joint meeting of G7 Ministers of Climate, Energy and the Environment, Dr Al Jaber said the world was falling behind on its climate commitments.
“To get where we need to go, everyone must pull in the same direction,” said Dr Al Jaber, who is also the UAE's Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology.
“We must replace polarisation with partnership, division with determination. That is why I am calling for a Cop of action, a Cop of unity, a Cop of solidarity, and a Cop for all.
“We must act together to ignite a transformational agenda that is pro-growth, pro-climate and leaves no one behind.”
The G7 meeting is being held under the Japanese presidency of the grouping, on Saturday and Sunday, ahead of the summit in May.
Dr Al Jaber held bilateral meetings with ministers from India, Indonesia, Japan, Canada, France, Germany, the UK, and the US, emphasising the need for more climate finance to enable a just energy transition in emerging economies.
He said G7 nations need to deliver a new deal on climate finance to help accelerate climate action in the race to limit temperature rises to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, as set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
“We must make a fairer deal for the global south. Not enough is getting to the people and places that need it most,” Dr Al Jaber said.
Developed countries first need to follow through on the $100 billion pledge they made to developing countries over a decade ago, he added.
“On top of that, the world needs to triple the amount of money by 2030 that is available for clean tech investment, adaptation finance and a just energy transition in emerging and developing countries," Dr Al Jaber said.
“The fact is that climate finance is nowhere near available, affordable or accessible enough.
“We need fundamental reform of international financial institutions to achieve both climate and development goals.”
He said the world is at risk of missing the mark on the Paris Agreement and overshooting climate targets.
“We need to triple renewable capacity by 2030 and increase it six-fold by 2040.
“We need smart government regulation to incentivise and commercialise viable alternatives for high-emitting sectors, like hydrogen and carbon capture technologies.
“And we need to continue to make the energies the world relies on today as low carbon intensive as possible, ensuring energy security is maintained during a well-managed transition.”
Dr Al Jaber, who travelled to Japan after attending the World Bank’s Spring Meetings in Washington, said international financial institutions reform are needed to deliver on the $100 billion promised to developing countries.
On Friday, he met Japan’s Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, and Yoshimasa Hayashi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, for discussions on climate action.
During the meetings, Dr Al Jaber spoke about the importance of building on the strategic partnership between the UAE and Japan and the two nations’ bilateral commitment to accelerating the energy transition, ahead of Cop28.
The UAE and Japan have agreed to accelerate the uptake of decarbonisation technologies, products, systems, services and infrastructure. The agreement is aimed at reducing emissions and contributing to the two countries' climate commitments under the Paris Agreement.
Dr Al Jaber said Japan has played an important role in advancing climate action through the establishment of the Kyoto Protocol, the first international treaty to set legally binding targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions, in 1997.
“The Kyoto Protocol represents a historic landmark in the international fight against climate change — the awakening of the need for global climate action,” he said.
“Now, Cop28 in the UAE must deliver that action. The Global Stocktake will show just how far off course we are on global progress, and we will need to respond with a plan of action that is inclusive, ambitious and bold.”