A new hub dedicated to preparing and informing UAE policy makers on climate change has been launched in Abu Dhabi ahead of Cop28 later this year.
The Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy (AGDA) announced the launch of the Centre for Climate Diplomacy on Monday, which has been created in collaboration with Mubadala and Adnoc.
The aim of the centre is to advance effective research to inform the country's policies on climate action plans.
It will serve as a regional hub for climate research by working with academic groups and think tanks in the Middle East, as well as hold information sessions for government officials.
The centre also hopes to forge links between the private and public sectors in projects that focus on finding solutions and reducing carbon emissions.
"The urgent need for effective climate action at scale demands that organisations and individuals from every sector and from around the world come together to deliver tangible action," said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Adnoc managing director and group chief executive in a statement.
"This requires diplomacy supported by evidence with a strong basis in science.
"The UAE continues to advance progressive solutions to address climate change and diplomacy plays a crucial role in enabling greater collaboration across public and private sectors," he said.
Climate change challenges
Nickolay Mladenov, director general of the AGDA, emphasised how the UAE was committed to implementing initiatives to address the climate crisis, and spoke of the importance of working together.
"The centre is an initiative we have been working on for a year and we are launching it now because we want to seize the momentum of Cop28 to create a centre of excellence that looks at the link between diplomacy and climate change," he told The National.
"We believe very firmly that every single person in the field of foreign policy needs to understand the challenges of climate change.
“That is why we will be focusing in our research, publications, engagements on areas that are relevant for diplomats in terms of preparing them for the challenge of climate negotiations in the future and reach out to a global network of expertise," Mr Mladenov added.
He said the collaboration with Mubadala and Adnoc would help develop solutions to combat climate change and build a platform that would be a “catalyst for innovation, encourage discussion, and present feasible solutions to address the challenge of climate change.”
Ahmed Al Calily, chief strategy and risk officer Mubadala, said the centre would provide an opportunity to understand how to create real change.
“As the UAE prepares to host one of the world’s largest diplomatic summits, the imperative of advancing skills and knowledge in climate diplomacy could not be clearer,” he said.
Research will cover sustainable finance to understand how climate change impacts the economies of the region, energy transition, adapting to climate change and climate diplomacy.
The centre will develop into a platform for researchers, policymakers and experts to collaborate to address the climate crisis on the local, regional and international levels.
A key UN report last week warned more needed to be done “on all fronts” to meet climate goals and that the window to keep the 1.5°C warming target alive was “rapidly closing.”
Moustafa Bayoumi, project manager for the Centre for Climate Diplomacy, said it was more critical than ever before to take action following the UN report that climate goals would be missed.
He said the centre would address gaps in research to better understand how countries can adapt to the impact of climate change, reduce emissions, track whether climate finance was reaching its target and assess projects that funds were being spent on.
“We see the future lies in how we can get research outcomes to the policy makers and diplomats so they understand what is at stake,” he said.
“Then based first-hand from the science, they will know what needs to be done - that is what we will try to achieve with the centre.”