COP28 President: 'There is no time for hesitation, the time to decide is now'

Sultan Al Jaber calls on the participants to deliver an outcome that respects the science

By WAM

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Dr Sultan Al Jaber wears headphones as he walks though the COP28 UN Climate Summit in Dubai. — AP
Dr Sultan Al Jaber wears headphones as he walks though the COP28 UN Climate Summit in Dubai. — AP

Published: Mon 11 Dec 2023, 9:45 PM

Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 President, called for approaching this COP with a different mindset and to be cooperative.

"We have a text, and we need to agree on the text. The time for discussion is coming to an end. And there is no time for hesitation. The time to decide is now," COP28 President told representatives of all the countries that are signatories (or 'Parties') to the UNFCCC.

"Yesterday I called the Change-makers Majlis and there was a new tone in the room and a new spirit of collaboration, openness, engagement, cooperation, and positivity. And I saw a new level of commitment, a new energy, and a new sense of commitment. I also saw a new sense of urgency.

"I saw people starting to come out of their comfort zones, and I saw them really engage with each other," he said, adding that "we must still close many gaps". "We don't have time to waste. We must deliver an outcome that respects the science and that keeps 1.5 within reach," he noted.

"When I stood here in front of you as the newly elected president, I asked you to approach this COP with a different mindset and to be cooperative. And I also asked everyone to be flexible. You showed exactly that mindset and that flexibility by taking the historic step of operationalising the Loss and Damage on day one."

Al Jaber continued: "Together, we have the opportunity to deliver history again. We can send a signal to the world that multilateralism does actually work, that this process can respond to what the science is telling us, that it can deliver for the most vulnerable, and keep 1.5 within reach."

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Dr Al Jaber underscored the need for everyone to focus on closing out the toughest issues that continue to remain. "I need all parties to show even more flexibility to get us to the finish line. The world is watching. Let's not rest until we get this done."

He emphasised that progress has been made. "But we still have a lot to do. You know what remains to be agreed. And you know that I want you to deliver the highest ambition on all items, including on fossil fuel language. If I can help, my door remains wide open to all of you. You have already shown what a different mindset and a flexible approach can deliver."

He called for working much faster, much smarter. "We have no option but working together. We must work collaboratively, and we must work together. And we shouldn't allow for anything to get in between the fact that we have all decided that we will stay laser-focused on our North Star. Let's keep that focus on our North Star of keeping 1.5 in reach," said the COP28 President.


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