Emirates News Agency – UAE sees progressive climate action as key to stability and economic prosperity (Sultan Al Jaber)
MUNICH, Germany, 19th February, 2022 (WAM) — The United Arab Emirates views climate action as a key driver of stability and economic prosperity and will seek to promote climate progress through the Conference of the Parties (COP) process of the United Nations and all other relevant forums with a view to hosting COP 28 in 2023.
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and UAE Special Envoy for Climate, said: “While climate change remains a huge global challenge, the world is actually in a much better position after the COP. 26 only a few months ago, when 90% of the global economy has now committed to achieving net zero emissions. This commitment sends a massive signal to the market, and it is clear that now is the time to invest in low-carbon solutions. is, in fact, a multi-trillion dollar opportunity to create new jobs, new industries and whole new sectors.”
He continued: “As such, the COP process plays a critical role in enabling an accelerated path to low-carbon economic development. The key to success is inclusiveness, bringing together public and private sectors, scientists and civil society, developed and developing economies. I believe that COP27 in Egypt can build on the successes of COP 26, and we intend, as hosts of COP 28, to build on this momentum by ensuring that it is as inclusive as possible and as solution-focused as possible.”
Dr Al Jaber made his remarks during a panel on the opening day of the Munich Security Conference titled ‘Scaling Up Climate Action’ alongside John Kerry, the US President’s Special Envoy for Climate; Dr AK Abdul Momen, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bangladesh; and Dr. Franziska Brantner, State Secretary, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, Federal Republic of Germany.
The session, moderated by Zanny Binton Meddoes, Editor of The Economist, covered the role of international climate cooperation at a time of growing geopolitical tensions around the world. On this point, Dr. Al Jaber, remarked: “Moments like these show how important international cooperation really is, and regardless of the differences, tackling climate change is a shared global challenge. It should also be kept in mind that the scale of economic opportunity that comes with progressive climate action has the potential to bring nations together.
“By focusing on a challenge that unites us all, we will make more room for cooperation and less room for disagreement.”
Dr Al Jaber added: “The UAE supports any forum that advances climate progress, including the German Chancellor‘s proposal for a G7 ‘international climate club’ – if it can bring together the right people, in the right spirit, with the right objectives, without putting developing countries at a disadvantage”.
He noted that the impacts of climate change could exacerbate conflicts if left unresolved. “The fact is that as the trend of extreme weather continues, climate impacts increasingly affect a range of issues from food security to water security and sow the seeds for future conflict. In other words, climate concerns are becoming security concerns, and we need to improve our response accordingly.There needs to be a greater focus on resilience and adaptation to climate change.
The Minister clarified: “In the future, we must activate a more preventive approach in the multilateral systems, from the G20 to the UN. The exploitation of technology is essential for this. For example, by integrating AI and big data into forecasting models at humanitarian agencies, we can pre-position resources before disaster strikes. Knowledge is power, and we need to start applying that power to protect communities from what we can predict.
Dr Al Jaber highlighted the need to increase investment in agricultural technologies and leverage best practices that protect the food and water security of vulnerable nations.
“This is the goal of AIM for Climate, an initiative the UAE has launched with the United States, with 37 countries participating, to scale up investment in breakthrough agricultural innovation, from pest-resistant seeds to drought to water-efficient vertical agriculture The investments we are making now to help countries adapt, make all communities more resilient, provide stability now and pay a peace dividend in the future .”
He reiterated the UAE’s support for strong climate finance and that the world should deliver on its pledge of $100 billion in annual climate finance to developing countries.
“These countries have contributed the least to climate change, but they face the highest costs of inaction. A just transition must ensure that the right level of financial flows to the countries that need it most. The result will be greater peace, stability and prosperity not just for these countries, but around the world.”
Regarding the energy transition, Dr Al Jaber concluded: “We must recognize that the energy transition is exactly that: a transition, and transitions take time. For our collective security, the world will have to continue to use all energy options for a long time. . As such, it is critical to ensure investment flows to the lowest cost and lowest carbon emitting oil and gas resources. Our main objective should be to contain emissions, not to progress.