Sultan Al Jaber hails German commitment to $100bn climate finance target

Chancellor Scholz praises UAE's turn to renewables and climate-neutral technologies

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, President-designate of Cop28, with Simon Stiell, left, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, centre, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, second right, and Jennifer Morgan, Germany’s Special Envoy for International Climate Action, at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue on Wednesday. Getty
Powered by automated translation

Rich countries are ready to give greater financial backing to the developing world’s fight against climate change after being tipped to surpass the $100 billion target for the first time since the Paris Agreement was signed.

Speaking alongside Dr Sultan Al Jaber, the President-designate of Cop28, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that she was confident that the target would be met ahead of the summit opening on November 30 in the UAE.

The remarks came as a meeting of 40 countries at the Petersburg Climate Dialogue was winding up in Berlin. Chancellor Olaf Scholz addressed the final session of the long-running dialogue and said the experience of both Germany and the UAE showed the world how rapid change could happen.

“I believe after the change and transformation that we have achieved in the past 12 months no one underestimates any more which change will be possible in the coming 10 years,” he said.

“You can witness the forces released by this insight and wide awareness can be seen around the globe.

“Your country, Dr Al Jaber, is well on the way from becoming the biggest leading user of renewable energies after being the largest exporter of fossil energies.

“Especially because the economic power of the UAE so far relied in large parts on fossil energies, I find it all the more remarkable that you resolutely turned to climate-neutral added values and technologies.”

The German government has said it would push for the funding target to be met and work in tandem with Canadian officials to deliver new commitments.

“I am pleased that, with our Canadian partners, we were able to ensure in the talks here that the donor states are now ready so that the full $100 billion can be mobilised this year,” Ms Baerbock said.

Dr Al Jaber, who is also Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and managing director and group chief executive of Adnoc, welcomed the German optimism that a key threshold in the battle to ensure that those that emitted least are not most damaged by climate change.

“We need to fulfil the global goal on adaptation, we need to double adaptation finance and to protect biodiversity and natural carbon sinks,” he said.

“We need to fulfil the $100 billion pledge from donor countries and I was very happy, pleased and encouraged by the statement made yesterday by minister Baerbock that progress is indeed being made.”

The Green Climate Fund will be discussed at a summit in the former German capital Bonn.

“In October we will host the replenishment conference of the Green Climate Fund here in Bonn, an important part of the promise by industrialised countries to make $100 billion available for climate finance,” Ms Baerbock said.

Dr Al Jaber identified the need for all parts of the process to stay focused on the “serious need” to reform international financial institutions as well as the multilateral development banks.

An overhaul would not only unlock more concessional finance for developing countries but lower risk for private capital mobilised to address the loss and damage inflicted by changing weather patterns and other climate changes.

“I have been stressing on [the need] to unlock much more concessional finance, mitigate risk and attract private capital,” he said.

“On loss and damage, this was a great outcome from Cop27. We need to fully operationalise the fund and ensure that we develop the necessary mechanisms for all funding arrangements.”

Ms Baerbock has been hailed in the German press for her call to set renewables targets at Cop28. Dr Al Jaber said an ambitious set of goals for renewables was also at the heart of his plans for the presidency.

Pointing to an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, he said a holistic approach not only drew on a rapid advance of renewables but also carbon capture and storage, and sectoral gains in activities such as heavy industry through hydrogen and ammonia resources.

“We need to triple renewables, double hydrogen production, expand nuclear power, improve battery storage,” he said.

“And of course, if we're serious about mitigating climate change and reducing practical matter emissions, we must set up carbon capture technologies.”

Ministers attending the dialogue broadly welcomed the $100 billion optimism from the joint hosts.

“This is a huge stop in the right direction — it is frankly an embarrassment that it hasn't been possible to mobilise this money yet,” said Dan Jorgensen, Denmark's minister for global climate policy and development told The National. ”Really, when being honest, we need trillions. The lack of trust in the process is for the developed world failing to deliver on what they promised in 2011.”

Other aims for the coming months of climate diplomacy, beyond fulfilling the global goal on adaptation and doubling the finances committed to that, include a focus on biodiversity and carbon sinks.

Updated: May 03, 2023, 3:28 PM