COP28 president: World ‘must unite on climate action and deliver in Dubai’

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The president of the upcoming COP28 climate talks told an Abu Dhabi conference on Monday that – amid global conflict dividing the world - leaders must come together and unite on climate action and deliver a “message of hope, solidary, stability, and prosperity.”

Speaking at an opening address during pre-COP 28 talks in the UAE capital, Dr. Sultan al-Jaber stressed: “We have to come through. We must unite. We must act. And we must deliver in Dubai.”

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“Let this process prove that multilateralism still works. I believe we can fulfil our responsibility. I know that we must.”

More than 100 delegations and 70 ministers are attending the Abu Dhabi conference, more than double the normal number of participants for a Pre-COP. It comes less than a month before the major climate talks which will take place at Expo City Dubai from November 30-December 12.

“There are too many things dividing our world at this moment,” Al-Jaber said in the opening session. “Now more than ever we need to unite on climate and deliver a clear message of hope, solidary, stability and prosperity. We need to show that the international community can deliver and send a clear signal that keeps 1.5 within reach.”

Speaking about fossil fuels, Al Jaber said, “I know there are strong views about the idea of including language on fossil fuels and renewables in the negotiated text. I need you to work together to come forward with solutions that can achieve alignment, common ground, and consensus between all parties.”

“We must be pragmatic. And we must leave no one behind.”

Updating the meeting on policy, the COP28 President said that more than 20 oil and gas companies have answered COP28’s call to end methane emissions by 2030.

“And I see positive momentum, as more are joining. And we are engaging with all high-emitting sectors, like heavy transportation, aluminium, steel, and cement to lay out credible decarbonization plans.”

Speaking to promises made, he stressed that, “Old promises must be kept, like the 100-billion-dollar pledge.”

He added “I am grateful for the work of Germany and Cañada on this, and their reassurances that things are now on track. But, as I stand here now, I still cannot say with certainty that has been delivered.”

He also outlined the importance of adaptation, calling for the Global Goal to be met, and stated that, “We must end deforestation and preserve natural carbon sinks... it is time for every nation to embed nature positive investments in national climate strategies.”

In closing, Al Jaber stressed the need for urgent action with a powerful call to parties: “The world is watching. Our nations, our communities, our families, our kids, they are all watching.”

“So, let us unite... I will also roll up my sleeves and be by your side. Together, let us show that humanity can find solidarity.”

COP28 UAE is expected to convene over 70,000 participants, including heads of state, government officials, international industry leaders, private sector representatives, academics, experts, youth, and NGOs.

As mandated by the Paris Climate Agreement, COP28 UAE will deliver the first ever Global Stocktake – a comprehensive evaluation of progress against climate goals.

The UAE will lead a process for all parties to agree upon a clear roadmap to accelerate progress through a pragmatic global energy transition and a “leave no one behind” approach to inclusive climate action.

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