COP28 President Dr Sultan Al Jaber addressed a record number of ministers and delegations from around the world at the pre-COP opening session, saying the international community must come together on climate action and that “we must get this done.” We must unite. We have to act. And we must keep our promises in Dubai. »
The pre-COP, taking place today and tomorrow in Abu Dhabi, is a preparatory meeting of ministers and negotiators ahead of COP28. This year’s event saw record attendance, with 70 ministers and more than 100 delegations gathering in the UAE capital, more than double the normal number of participants for a pre-COP.
Acknowledging that “there are too many things dividing our world right now,” the COP28 president said: “Now more than ever, we must unite on climate and deliver a clear message of hope , solidarity, stability and prosperity. We must show that the international community can deliver and send a clear signal that keeps the 1.5 target within reach.
Al Jaber pointed out that before the Paris Agreement, the world was heading towards more than four degrees of warming, but is now on track for two to three degrees of warming, according to the latest reports: “We are moving in the right direction, but nowhere near fast enough,” he warned.
The parties “need to do better” in formulating agreements on the issues than they had done in previous conferences, Dr Al Jaber said. “We have no time to waste on disunity,” he warned. “We must look beyond short-term thinking, end excuses and delays and redefine our self-interest as a common interest. »
“Let this process prove that multilateralism still works. I believe we can assume our responsibility. I know we have to do it.
The COP28 President reiterated the need to provide a firm response to the Global Stocktake and put the world back on track to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. He highlighted key areas of focus, including a strong mitigation outcome, a comprehensive adaptation deal and “breakthrough solutions” on finance. “This includes the disbursement of the fund and the arrangements for financing losses and damages,” he added. “What was promised in Sharm el-Sheikh must be delivered in Dubai. »
“We need strong solutions to reduce emissions by 43% by 2030, because that is exactly what the science tells us,” said Dr Al Jaber. On the issue of fossil fuels, he said: “I know there are strong opinions on the idea of including a mention of fossil fuels and renewable energy in the negotiated text. I need you to work together to propose solutions that can achieve alignment, common ground, and consensus among all parties. We must be responsible. We must be pragmatic. And we must leave no one behind.
Taking stock of the politics of the meeting, the COP28 President said: “More than 20 oil and gas companies have responded to COP28’s call to end methane emissions by 2030. And I see positive momentum as others join us. And we are engaging with all high-emissions sectors, such as heavy transport, aluminum, steel and cement, to develop credible decarbonization plans. On finance, Dr Al Jaber stressed the importance of ensuring capital flows where they are most needed, notably in the Global South, and restoring confidence in developing countries.
Speaking about the promises made, he stressed that “old promises must be kept, like the $100 billion commitment. I am grateful for the work of Germany and Canada in this area and their assurances that things are now on the right track. But, at this time, I still cannot say with certainty that this has been achieved. »
He also highlighted the importance of adaptation, calling for the global target to be met, and said: “We must end deforestation and preserve natural carbon sinks… it is time for every nation to integrate nature-friendly investments into national climate strategies. »
The COP28 President reminded participants that “the world is watching. Our nations, our communities, our families, our children, they all look at us. So let’s unite. »
“We have the power, we must accept responsibility for it,” he concluded. “This process must not fail. We have to get through this. We must keep our promises in Dubai. »