UAE step closer to hosting Cop28 in 2023 with UN Asia-Pacific group endorsement

If selected, the next major climate summit will be held in Abu Dhabi

Madinat Zayed, United Arab Emirates, March 16, 2013: 
Last minute preparations for the tomorrow's inauguration are in full swing at the Shams1 solar power plant on Saturday, March 16, 2013, near the Madinat Zayed in Western Region, UAE.  Shams, the Middle EastÕs largest renewable energy project, will begin feeding power to the Abu Dhabi national grid after its official inauguration on March 17, 2013.
Silvia Razgova / The National

The member states of the UN's Asia-Pacific Group have announced their support for the UAE's bid to host Cop28 in 2023.

The move brings Abu Dhabi a step closer to official selection to host the world's next major climate summit.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation and head of the UAE delegation to Cop26, said on Tuesday: “We are grateful for the endorsement of the Asia Pacific group of nations, indeed of all our partners in the international community advancing concrete solutions to the very real threat of climate change."

"We have an ambitious vision for climate action linked to creating opportunities for sustainable economic and social growth."

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Cop28 will be especially significant as the first stocktake of national commitments after the Paris Agreement
Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change

The decision by the influential Asia-Pacific Group of nations came after the first major day of commitments at Cop26 in Glasgow, Scotland.

The UAE last month set out a strategic initiative to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

A three-decade plan of action to tackle emissions will follow.

In addition, the UAE is determined to support the international community and find practical ways to implement and drive change. It is also calling for closer analysis of future climate-related risks and "anticipatory action" – a humanitarian model that releases resources in advance of reliably predicted climate disasters.

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Cop26 climate summit - Day 2

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"Guided by this trust and our 30-year legacy of positive climate action, culminating in the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative announced before this year’s UN Climate Conference in Glasgow, we are even more determined as a nation to forge ever stronger partnerships, and to innovate new technologies and solutions, to bring about a more sustainable future, both for present and future generations of UAE citizens, and the citizens of countries around the world," Sheikh Abdullah said in a statement to state news agency Wam.

Pakistan's Minister for Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam, who is also chairman of the Asia Pacific Group and special assistant to the prime minister, said: "We are pleased to announce the brotherly country of UAE as the consensus candidate of the Asia Pacific Group for Cop28. We would like to wish them the best and are confident for a very successful COP in the Asia Pacific region in 2023."

Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change, said Cop28 will be a an important "stocktake" of current agreements.

"Cop28 will be especially significant as the first stocktake of national commitments after the Paris Agreement. Our goal will be to make cop28 as inclusive and action-oriented as possible; a solutions Cop that brings together developed and developing countries and unites all sectors - public, private, academic and civil society - around a focus on tangible solutions," he said.

He added on Twitter: "We thank the Asia Pacific Group of nations for their endorsement of the UAE.

"If chosen as hosts, our goal will be to make Cop28 an inclusive, solutions COP that brings together developed and developing countries and unites all sectors."

Mariam Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said the Asia-Pacific group's decision showed the "global leadership position of the UAE in advancing and stimulating the pace of action for climate and enhancing efforts to reduce its causes".

During the second day of Cop26, and the first major day for commitments, there was cause for some optimism as more than 100 world leaders said they will promise to end and reverse deforestation by 2030.

The official signing will take place later on Tuesday. The pledge includes almost $19.2bn of public and private funds.

In another significant pledge, India's Narendra Modi set a 2070 target to reach net zero emissions. The target is 20 years beyond other major polluters, including the UK, US and EU. But Mr Modi set out a series of further commitments for 2030, including that half of India's electricity would come from renewables within just nine years.

Cop summits in the coming years, including 2023, will be crucial to ensuring world leaders stick to their pledges.

Under present targets, the world will warm by 2.7C by 2100, which the UN says would result in "climate catastrophe".

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Updated: November 3rd 2021, 11:24 AM
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