LONDON: Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al-Jaber, the UAE’s minister of industry and advanced technology, and the COP28 president-designate, chaired the Copenhagen Climate Ministerial on Monday alongside Sameh Shoukry, the COP27 president, and Dan Jørgensen, Denmark’s minister for development, cooperation and global climate policy.
This two-day event, which gathered over 40 government ministers, is the first climate ministerial meeting leading up to COP28, Emirates News Agency reported.
“We need to build on the foundation achieved at COP27 and move from goals to getting it done. We are way off track when it comes to the critical goal of keeping 1.5 C alive,” Al-Jaber said in his opening remarks at the ministerial.
“Incremental steps will simply not cut it, we need transformational progress in the next seven years across mitigation, adaptation, climate finance and loss and damage,” he added.
The COP28 president-designate also called on countries to “scale up all available zero-carbon energy sources, while minimizing the emissions from all other energy sources.
“Technology that no one can afford isn’t of much use to anyone. Governments should therefore adopt smart policies to incentivise breakthroughs in battery storage and commercialize carbon capture and the hydrogen value chain,” he said.
“We should inject a business mindset, short-term KPIs and an ambitious action-oriented agenda into the Mitigation Work Programme, and remember that the enemy is emissions, not progress.”
Furthermore, Al-Jaber emphasized the need to develop a framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation “that meets the needs of developing countries, builds resilience, protects fragile biodiversity and enhances nature-based solutions.”
He added: “At a minimum, we need to double adaptation finance and adopt national policies that build every country’s capacity to adapt to climate impacts.”
The COP28 president-designate said that finance is critical to making progress, as he called for “urgent reform of international financial institutions and multilateral development banks to unlock much more concessional capital, lower risk and attract more private finance. The bottom line is finance needs to be much more available, accessible and affordable.”
In addition, Al-Jaber highlighted the importance of “solidarity and unity of purpose.”
He continued: “There is simply no room for division. Progress of the kind we need can only happen through partnership, not polarization.
“The task ahead represents one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced. But, if we act with urgency, act together and act now, it also represents one of the greatest opportunities for social and economic development.”
Throughout the ministerial, Al-Jaber held bilateral meetings with climate leaders and government ministers from across the globe.
Copenhagen is the latest stop in his international tour to meet with and listen to partners from governments, the private sector, civil society, and international organizations.