Sheikh Mohammed: COP28 will be the UAE’s most important event in 2023

Country's strong diplomatic relationships with other nations and expertise in clean energy and sustainability helped it win the bid for the global event


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Photo: WAM
Photo: WAM

Published: Tue 22 Nov 2022, 10:35 PM

Last updated: Wed 23 Nov 2022, 2:33 AM

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said that COP28 will be the most important event hosted by the nation in 2023.

Sheikh Mohammed was addressing the UAE Government Annual Meetings, which reviewed the significance of the UAE hosting the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

During the session, Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change, highlighted the importance of the UAE hosting the conference.

Dr Al Jaber thanked the vision of the UAE leadership and highlighted the legacy of the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in promoting sustainable development and environmental protection.

He said the determination of the UAE, its strong diplomatic relations with global nations and pragmatic position on climate action, underpinned by proven experience in the energy and sustainability sectors led to the nation securing the international consensus in 2021 to host COP28 in 2023.

“The late Sheikh Zayed laid the foundations of environmental sustainability and climate action that we have built on in the past decades. Today, we have a proven track record of reducing emissions, accelerating the growth of renewable energy and enabling the energy transition,” said Dr. Al Jaber.

He also provided examples of the UAE’s achievements over the years, including stopping gas flaring since the 1970s under the directives of the late Sheikh Zayed.

Dr Al Jaber said that led by the vision and directives of the President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Masdar was launched in 2006 as the region’s first renewable energy and sustainability initiative. Today, Masdar has implemented several clean energy projects globally, including a solar-powered desalination project as well as a project to study the feasibility of low wind speed turbines. He said the first phase of the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park was launched in 2013, another testament to the country’s commitment to promoting renewable energy.

Dr Al Jaber said the UAE was the first country in the region to ratify the Paris Agreement and to announce a strategic initiative to achieve Net Zero by 2050. The UAE also hosts the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency.

The minister said the UAE has invested more than $50 billion in clean energy projects in 70 countries including 40 developing nations, and recently announced the UAE-US Partnership to Accelerate the Transition to Clean Energy (PACE). The project will catalyse $100 billion in financing, investment, and other support and will deploy 100 gigawatts of clean energy globally.

“The COP is a global political, economic, scientific and social platform to achieve commitments to reduce the impact of climate change through negotiations and to assess the progress in climate action,” said Dr Al Jaber.


He stressed that the UAE is committed to advancing climate action based on the outcomes of the past summits, including COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, which made significant progress in many areas including the landmark agreement to establish a ‘Loss and Damage Fund,’ the launch of the Just Energy Transition in the Energy Sector work programme and many others.

He said that COP28, which will be hosted in the UAE in 2023 at Expo City Dubai, will be an important global event coinciding with the UAE National Day, adding that the event will welcome high-level participation including over 140 heads of state and government leaders, over 80,000 delegates and more than 5,000 media professionals.

He said the UAE has commenced preparations for hosting the event. A Higher Committee has been formed chaired by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, to supervise the preparations for COP28.

Dr Al Jaber said the UAE will focus on finding practical solutions that ensure energy security while reducing emission, adding that the responsibility of leading the negotiations includes a commitment to being a neutral and independent interlocutor to all nations. The presidency also involves formulating the outcomes of the summit and supervising the negotiations to achieve official decisions that will be announced at COP28.

Concluding his presentation, Dr Al Jaber reiterated that the success of COP28 is a national responsibility and extended an open invitation to government and private sectors as well as all segments of society to come together in solidarity to host a successful and inclusive global event.

He called on all parties to coordinate in this national event to ensure an exceptional and successful conference.

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