UAE to host preparatory conference for UN Climate Summit

Meeting will prepare the agenda, recommendations and draft resolutions to be presented at Cop25

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivers a speech during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting, on January 23, 2019 in Davos, eastern Switzerland.  / AFP / Fabrice COFFRINI
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The UAE will host the preparatory conference for the UN 2019 Climate Summit (Cop25) in June, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced on Friday.

The preparatory meeting aims to prepare an agenda, recommendations and draft resolutions that will be presented and adopted during the Climate Summit in September.

Mr Guterres announced that Abu Dhabi would host the conference, during a meeting with Mohammad Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future, Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence. Their meeting was held on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The UN Secretary General thanked the UAE for its “unwavering support for the United Nations and its commitment to taking ambitious measures to address climate change."

This will be the second time the UAE hosts a preparatory meeting ahead of the main conference. The UAE last hosted a meeting in 2014, where some of the foundations for the Paris Agreement of 2015 were laid.

"The UAE shares, with the international community, the efforts of protecting the environment and addressing the challenges posed by climate change," Mr Al Gergawi said.

Dr Al Zeyoudi added that climate change is the most important issue in the world and the biggest challenge to humanity.

"[Climate change] requires boosting global co-operation along with unifying and accelerating efforts to meet this challenge and reduce its consequences," he said.

The UN Climate Summit 2019, will gather heads of state and executives from the world's leading businesses, and will announce a set of international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, help communities cope with the negative impacts of climate change, and begin preparations for Climate 2020 negotiations.

As part of its nationally defined contributions under the Paris Agreement, the UAE has pledged to place sustainability at the core of its strategies, in particular UAE Vision 2021, the UAE Energy 2050 strategy, which seeks to increase the share of clean energy from the domestic energy mix to 50 per cent, and the National Climate Change Plan 2017-2050, according to state news agency Wam.

Since 2013, the UAE has provided around $1 billion in aid to developing countries to deploy renewable energy solutions and has committed itself to reducing and adapting to climate change through its $5 billion annual aid package.