COP28 President Al Jaber urges immediate action to combat climate crisis and calls for fossil fuel inclusion in clean energy transition.
“The science has spoken,” Al Jaber said. “It has been loud and clear. It has confirmed that the moment is now to find a new road, a road wide enough for all of us, free of the obstacles and the detours of the past.”
During his speech, Al Jaber laid out a comprehensive and ambitious agenda for COP28, calling for a new roadmap to bring mitigation, adaptation, and means of implementation, including finance, “under one umbrella.” He also emphasised the need for an “inclusive and transparent process” which “encourages free and open discussion”, addressing concerns about the UAE’s restrictive protest laws.
Moving onto the contentious topic of fossil fuels, which is expected to cause headaches at COP28, Al Jaber acknowledged the “strong views” on including language on fossil fuels and renewables in the negotiated text of the COP28 agreement. However, he argued that it is crucial to ensure their inclusion in the transition to a cleaner energy future.
Al Jaber has recently been under pressure following leaked documents that reportedly showed the UAE planned to use pre-COP28 summit meetings to pitch oil and gas deals to foreign governments. Al Jaber, who himself has ties to the fossil fuel industry as the head of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, denied the allegations.
The COP president has previously stated that, “we cannot unplug the energy system of today before we build the new system of tomorrow.” According to Al Jaber, doing so is, “simply not practical or possible.”
Stressing the importance of climate finance, Al Jaber reiterated commitments to unlock financing to ensure that the global South does not have to choose between development and climate action.
“Let this be the year that climate finance meets the magnitude of the moment,” he said. “Let this be the COP where we deliver on our promises, from the $100 billion to loss and damage.”
Following Al Jaber’s remarks, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Director Simon Steele outlined the key milestones and expectations for future climate action.
“In 2024, countries will submit their first biannual Transparency Report,” Steele emphasised. “This means that the reality of individual progress on climate action will be transparent and cannot be concealed. Additionally, at COP29, we will address the critical issue of financing this massive shift with the new finance goal.”
“Steele further noted that Early in 2025, countries must deliver new nationally determined contributions (NDCs). Please start working on them now. This takes us to COP30, where every single commitment on finance, adaptation, and mitigation has to be aligned with a 1.5 °C world.”
In a stark warning, Steele underscored the urgency of the situation. “Science tells us we have around six years before we exhaust the planet’s ability to cope with our emissions. We must act swiftly and decisively to avert the worst impacts of climate change.”
Jim Skea, the newly elected head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), echoed Steele’s concerns in his brief address. He highlighted the “irreversible, widespread, rapid, and intensifying nature” of many climate impacts we face today.
Skea outlined the IPCC’s plans for its seventh assessment cycle, emphasising the use of the best available science to deliver focused and policy-relevant reports in an inclusive manner, representing all perspectives.
He concluded with a powerful call to action: “Let us recall that science by itself is no substitute for action.”
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?