Green Economy Summit in Dubai: ‘Every fraction increase in temperature means loss of life, livelihood’

'There is no more time for negotiations. All decisions have been taken, so it is time to implement': UN official in UAE


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Wed 28 Sep 2022, 2:02 PM

Last updated: Wed 28 Sep 2022, 4:41 PM

The time is now to act for businesses, societies and governments to reduce carbon emissions because every fraction of increase in temperatures means loss of life and livelihood around the world, said a senior UN official in Dubai on Wednesday.

“We are limiting temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and we are already between 1.1-1.2 degrees and every fraction of a degree increase in temperature translates into a loss of life and livelihood around the world. It is not an easy task to do what we need to do but we have to continue our efforts and raise ambitions at all levels. We are meeting in extremely troubled times and highly complex environment and seeing developments being backtracked in many areas,” said Ovais Sarmad, Deputy Executive Secretary, UNFCCC Secretariat Assistant Secretary General, United Nations.

“It is a huge urgency and targets and signs are absolutely clear that we must stop pumping greenhouse gases into the sky by nearly half by 2030. Every day passes by and we are not taking decisive action, we are backtracking in every aspect of development. Only a sustainable future is renewable where we are able to use resources in a responsible and sustainable manner,” Sarmad said at the World Green Economy Summit 2022, which is being held along with the 24th edition of the Water, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition (Wetex) 2022 and Dubai Solar Show at Dubai World Trade Centre.

“We must end our habits and intensity of using fossil fuel and a life that we have accustomed to. The good news is solutions are there. Renewable energy provides a good alternative to businesses, societies and governments. The question is how we capitalise on that," the UN executive told the delegates and attendees at the two-day summit.

"To reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent by 2030 and net zero by 2050, there are sectoral actions that need to be taken across the board and it demands a systemic and fundamental change in economic production and consumption of resources that is inclusive and just that can be sustained across future generation and protect our planet.”

He said the current lifestyle models are no longer sustainable and there is writing clearly on the wall. “Businesses and societies that don’t take action (to curb climate change), they will be the Kodak of the future,” he said.


Sarmad stressed that there is a need to make sure that the climate change conference COP27 to be held in Egypt later this year is an implementation COP.

“There is no more time for negotiations. All decisions have been taken, so it is time to implement. It is urgency, every fraction of a degree counts and every loss of life counts. We have a responsibility to reverse this climate change threat. We need to work collaboratively,” he added.

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