The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has officially announced that the UAE will host the 28th Conference of the Parties climate change conference – better known as COP28 – in 2023.
The UNFCCC confirmation followed unanimous endorsement by the Asia Pacific Group of nations during COP26, where nearly 200 countries gathered to take concerted action to cap global greenhousevgas emissions and unite against climate change.
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Special Envoy for Climate Change, and Chairman of Masdar, said the decision to host COP28 in the UAE is a direct result of the vision of its leadership and the commitment of its founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to sustainable development. He added that the decision is a direct reflection of the nation’s decades-long commitment to progressive climate action.
He said, "We very much look forward to the opportunity of uniting the world in an effort to raise ambitions for climate action and to advance progress for humanity. COP 28 will be a crucial global stock-take, measuring how far we have come, and how far we still need to go, to fulfill the Paris Agreement. Our guiding principle for COP 28 will be inclusivity. We want to reflect the views and invite the contribution of both developed and developing countries, the public and private sectors, academics and civil society. The UAE adopts this approach, because we truly believe that partnership promotes progress."
Dr Al Jaber congratulated the Arab Republic of Egypt for being announced as host of the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties, highlighting that the UAE will cooperate with partners everywhere to identify lessons learned in order to achieve effective results.
The UAE was the first country in the Middle East & North Africa to ratify the Paris Agreement and commit to lowering its carbon emissions. It was also a pioneer in setting the region’s first renewable energy and biodiversity conservation targets to match its climate ambitions.
Among many sustainability achievements, the UAE has brought the cost of solar energy below that of all other electricity sources and built one of the world's first large-scale carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) facilities. It has invested close to US$17 billion in solar, wind and battery storage projects across six continents worldwide, including in 27 climate-vulnerable island nations.
“This decision reflects the vision and foresight of our leadership in starting the UAE on the path to a sustainable future many years ago, and builds on the legacy of environmental preservation and sustainable growth left by our nation’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan,” Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said of the announcement.
“Masdar is proud to have played a role in the UAE’s sustainability journey over the past 15 years and helping amplify the nation’s voice in the global climate debate. Through our investments in renewable energy at home and abroad we are demonstrating a clear business case for the energy transition, and in Masdar City we have created a true sustainability ecosystem and a hub for tech pioneers and innovators, he continued. “I’m thrilled that the UAE will be welcoming the world in 2023 for an ambitious agenda that will highlight the many opportunities to be seized in addressing climate change and which will strive to find global consensus on actionable solutions to the most pressing challenge of our time.”
The UAE’s long history of commitment to climate change started in 1989 when it first ratified the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone layer. Since then, it has joined the UNFCCC (1995) and ratified the Kyoto Protocol (2005). Two years ago, the UAE hosted the Abu Dhabi Climate Meeting, attended by the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.