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Asia Pacific Group endorses UAE’s bid to host COP28 in 2023

Mon 01/11/2021

The Asia Pacific Group of nations today endorsed the UAE’s bid to host the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) in 2023, at the COP26 summit in Glasgow, which brings nation states together to accelerate action on the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 

His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, leading the UAE delegation to COP26, said: "We are grateful and honoured with the endorsement to host COP28 in the UAE in 2023, and look forward to the confirmation of the UNFCCC. As a young, inclusive country that celebrates its Golden Jubilee this year, we believe partnership is the key to progress and to solving global challenges. Our vision is to work with all countries to realise net economic benefits from accelerated climate change action."

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah said: “We are grateful for the endorsement of the Asia Pacific group of nations, indeed of all our partners in the international community advancing concrete solutions to the very real threat of climate change.  

“Guided by this trust and our 30-year legacy of positive climate action, culminating in the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative announced before this year’s UN Climate Conference in Glasgow, we are even more determined as a nation to forge ever stronger partnerships, and to innovate new technologies and solutions, to bring about a more sustainable future, both for present and future generations of UAE citizens, and the citizens of countries around the world.”

H.E. Malik Amin Aslam, Minister for Climate Change and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, Chair of the Asia Pacific Group, said: "We are pleased to announce the brotherly country of UAE as the consensus candidate of the Asia Pacific Group for COP28. We would like to wish them the best and are confident for a very successful COP in the Asia Pacific region in 2023.”

30 years of climate action 
For more than three decades, the UAE has acted with foresight in tackling climate change. The nation has shown unwavering commitment towards investment projects aimed at mitigating and adapting to climate challenges, and more importantly, creating a positive economic impact for its people.

A critical player in the region, the UAE is now calling for bolder action. This October, it launched the Net Zero by 2050 Strategy, an ambitious national drive to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

In addition, the UAE is determined to support the international community and find practical ways to implement and drive change. It is also calling for closer analysis of future climate-related risks and "anticipatory action" – a humanitarian model that releases resources in advance of reliably predicted climate disasters. 

H.E. Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change said: “COP 28 will be especially significant as the first stocktake of national commitments after the Paris Agreement. Our goal will be to make COP 28 as inclusive and action-oriented as possible; a solutions COP that brings together developed and developing countries and unites all sectors - public, private, academic and civil society - around a focus on tangible solutions.”

Investments in clean energy projects 
The use of renewable energy has been integral to the UAE’s multifaceted strategy to reduce emissions and ward off the worst effects of global warming. These initiatives include solar power, carbon capture, and hydrocarbon energy. In recent years, UAE has invested an estimated US$17 billion in clean energy projects in 70 countries, with a focus on developing countries. 

In 2021, the UAE organised the regional climate dialogue, and participated in the Leaders Summit on Climate, where it extended its commitment to sustainable agriculture and farming. Recognising that food systems account for almost one-quarter of all global carbon emissions, the UAE partnered with 39 other countries to launch the Agriculture Innovation Mission (AIM) for Climate. 

The UAE is home to three of the world’s largest and lowest-cost solar plants. Whether achieving the world’s lowest-cost solar power, introducing biodiversity conversation targets,  
deploying commercial-scale carbon capture technology, running a zero-carbon nuclear power plant, and pursuing hydrogen energy, the UAE has been a pioneer of significant climate initiatives in the region.

Further supporting the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has announced that it will decarbonise its power grid at scale through nuclear and solar clean energy sources, starting January 2022, marking a global-first by a major oil and gas company.  

A holistic approach to climate action 
H.E. Mariam Al Mheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, is keen to build on the UAE’s strong track record of climate action, and says the nation wants to help create the right ecosystem to scale up innovation. This will require an equal focus on investment capital, R&D, technology commercialization and project delivery. 

“We will leverage our natural and competitive advantages as a producer of the least carbon-intensive hydrocarbons for as long as the world relies on a diversified energy mix. We will use this experience as a centre of excellence to become a destination for innovation across the sustainable energy value chain,” she said. 

Since the UAE first ratified the Vienna Convention for the protection of the Ozone layer in 1989, it has joined the UNFCC (1995), signed the Paris Agreement (2015) and ratified the Kyoto Protocol (2005), as well as organised the Abu Dhabi Climate meeting two years ago. 

Moreover, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) officially inaugurated its permanent headquarters at Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, a low-carbon urban development featuring innovative solutions in energy and water efficiency, mobility and waste reduction.

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