Emirates News Agency – COP28 President calls for ambitious climate action at Arctic Circle Assembly

by MMC
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REYKJAVIK, Iceland, 20th October, 2023 (WAM) — Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and President of COP28, delivered a speech at the opening session of the Assembly of Arctic Circle 2023 in Reykjavik, Iceland, highlighting the dangerous impact of climate change on fragile Arctic ecosystems and calling on nations to support the COP28 agenda for action to maintain the goals of the Paris Agreement at hand.

“Over the past decade, the Arctic Circle has led the debate on the impact of climate on fragile Arctic ecosystems,” Dr Al Jaber told delegates. “This group alerted the world that the Arctic is warming about four times faster than the rest of the planet. »

The Arctic Circle Assembly is the largest annual international gathering on the Arctic with more than 2,000 participants from more than 60 countries, including Arctic Circle President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson; the Prime Minister of Iceland, Katrín Jakobsdóttir; Danish Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, policymakers from other countries, indigenous leaders, scientists, activists and representatives from business, civil society and other stakeholders. The event will feature more than 700 speakers and 200 sessions, with a major focus on climate change and energy security.

“The world needs to reduce 22 gigatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over the next seven years to keep warming at 1.5°C,” said Dr Al Jaber. “This is a colossal task that will require nothing less than global unity. »

The COP28 Action Agenda provides “a practical action plan to transform the Paris goals into a realistic roadmap that the whole world can follow,” said Dr Al Jaber. This roadmap centers on our key pillars: accelerating the energy transition, fixing climate finance, focusing on people, lives and livelihoods, and supporting all with full inclusiveness. “

On accelerating the energy transition, Dr Al Jaber said it must be fair, well-managed and accountable and leave no one behind.

COP28 set the global goal of tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030.

“We are making progress,” said Dr Al Jaber. “85% of global economies have endorsed our goal to triple renewable energy and double energy efficiency by 2030.”

Dr Al Jaber said his presidency was engaging with oil and gas companies to eliminate methane emissions by 2030 and align with net zero by 2050. He was also in discussions with sectors to high emissions “to accelerate their transition times and decarbonize the energies they use today. .”

The COP28 president also called for “a massive increase in climate finance”, including meeting the $100 billion commitment to developing countries, recharging the Green Climate Fund, doubling funding for adaptation and operationalizing funds for loss and damage. He also highlighted the importance of reforming multilateral development banks to make climate finance more available, accessible and affordable, and market mechanisms to encourage more private sector financing.

“At the heart of all our climate action efforts is our collective goal to protect people, lives and livelihoods,” said Dr Al Jaber. “That’s why we have put health, food and nature at the forefront of the COP28 agenda. »

“We also urge all countries to sign the COP28 Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems and Climate Action as well as the first-ever Declaration on Climate and Health, focused on how we can feed a growing population without overheating our planet,” added Dr. Al Jaber.

As the final pillar of the COP28 action agenda, Dr Al Jaber insisted that the entire agenda be underpinned by full inclusiveness, stressing that “COP28 will welcome all voices, representing all points of view”.

“From all regions of the world. From the Arctic to Asia, from Africa to the Americas, this COP must deliver results for everyone, everywhere,” Dr Al Jaber told delegates. “I want COP28 to be a platform that rises above divisions and reminds the world that real progress is only possible through partnership.

During his speech, Dr. Sultan praised Iceland for “pioneering geothermal energy to build the world’s largest direct air capture facility.”

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