Cop26 president holds key talks with UAE climate change envoy

Alok Sharma, who is setting the stage for Glasgow summit, says he is 'delighted' to hear of UAE's bid to host Cop28

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The head of a crucial UN global environment summit held key talks with the UAE's Climate Change Envoy.

Alok Sharma, President of Cop26, said on Tuesday it was "brilliant to speak to my friend Dr Sultan Al Jaber about the UAE’s climate plans" in the run-up to the event in Scotland.

Mr Sharma said he was also delighted to hear about the UAE's bid to host Cop28.

"I look forward to continuing our engagement to drive green finance and decarbonisation on the road to Glasgow."

Cop26 is set to take place in the Scottish city this November and will address how countries are planning to tackle the pressing issue of climate change.

The office for the UAE Special Envoy For Climate Change said it was a "great catchup ... with our friend and partner" Mr Sharma.

It also said the talks explored areas for deeper climate cooperation between the UAE and the UK.

Cop26, meanwhile, has been described as the most important summit since Paris in 2015.

Agreed that year and now signed by 195 countries, including the UAE, the deal aims to limit global average temperature increase to 1.5°C above that of pre-industrial times.

But experts said the world faces increases of more than 1.5°C within 10 years if countries fail to act.

Countries at Cop26 are expected to commit to enhanced pledges to cut emissions since the Paris deal was signed.

Momentum has been building for the event despite the Covid-19 pandemic with the UAE driving forward the urgency of acting now.

Abu Dhabi in April hosted the Regional Climate Dialogue with leaders from across the Middle East East and North Africa attending.

US climate envoy John Kerry and Dr Al Jaber, who is also Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and the managing director and group chief executive of Adnoc, were among those in attendance and it concluded with 11 countries pledging to ensure the success of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

It also ended with a joint pledge by the UAE and US to do even more to protect the environment.

Meanwhile, Bahrain and Jordan announced their support to the UAE's efforts to host Cop28 in 2023.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, announced the bid on May 23.

“The climate challenge is daunting, but it is also matched by enormous opportunity to drive economic growth and job creation,” Sheikh Abdullah said.

How the UAE safeguards the environment - in pictures