RIYADH: Arab nations will explore partnerships with China to accelerate the sustainable growth of the mining sector in the region, according to speakers at a panel discussion at the Arab-China Business Conference held in Riyadh.
Khalid Nouh, CEO of Industrialization & Energy Services Co., also known as TAQA, said China’s know-how and technical expertise could help Saudi Arabia explore its full potential in the mining sector.
Mining is one of the 13 strategic sectors in Saudi Arabia’s economic diversification strategy known as Vision 2030, and there is an estimated $1.3 trillion worth of resources to be excavated in the Kingdom.
Nouh said: “China has a very strong position in the mining industry. There are more than 40,000 mines in China. There are more than 1,500 mining projects going on.
“China is the biggest consumer of lithium in the world. They are the biggest producers of nickel, cobalt and molybdenum. So, they have a strong market, and a strong know-how in the mining industry, especially in exploration and production.”
Osama Al-Zamil, Saudi Arabia’s deputy minister of industry and mineral resources, said the ministry is trying to incentivize the growth in the mining and industrial sector by building the capacity of the local content, along with improving and enhancing the business environment.
He also added that the ministry is exploring opportunities with Chinese entities to strengthen the mining sector.
“In Saudi Arabia, mineral resources are the third pillar of the industrial sector. The first pillar is oil and gas, hydrocarbons, the second is petrochemicals, and the third is mining. We are working to create Saudi-Chinese integration at many levels and many sectors,” said Al-Zamil.
For his part, Bahrain’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdullah Fakhroo said the partnership with China is crucial for the country’s future industrial growth.
“China is a global leader in manufacturing and advanced technologies. So definitely, there are many opportunities to collaborate with Bahrain. We also allow 100 percent ownership in particular sectors. We are also open to other structures, such as joint ventures and so on. But really, China is a very important player in our future industrial strategy,” he said.
Fakhroo also said that Bahrain has moved away from its reliance on oil and added that the oil and gas sector is no longer the country’s top contributor to its gross domestic product.
“Around 20 years ago, it made up around 40 percent of our GDP, and today, it makes up less than 20 percent,” said Fakhroo.
Ali Al-Baqali, CEO of Aluminium Bahrain, also known as Alba, said that carrying out business with Chinese entities has changed positively over the last few years.
“We had business with the Chinese a long time ago. Before, if you are dealing with China, there will be a red flag, because everybody was afraid of how to deal with the Chinese. But for the last three years, Chinese business has become more mature with Arab countries,” he said.
The CEO also added that a cross-border solar project where Saudi Arabia will produce solar energy for Bahrain will help the country achieve its net-zero targets.
Al-Baqali said that neighboring countries like Saudi Arabia could help Bahrain with renewable energy, as the country does not have sufficient geographical space to install solar farms.
“There is a proposal on the table with Saudi Arabia to develop a solar farm between both countries. It will be built, for example, in Saudi Arabia, and it will be imported to Bahrain. As you know, Bahrain is a small country, and if I want to operate Alba in solar, I have to cover all of Bahrain, in order to get the required energy,” said Al-Baqali.
He added: “The typical solution for us is to have a joint venture with our neighboring country, our brothers, in order to have renewable energy from their sides.”
African nations seek fair climate financing at COP28
Updated 7 sec ago
RIYADH: Developing countries in Africa have urged developed nations to ensure equitable climate change financing for the implementation of adaptation and mitigation projects to address the global crisis, as highlighted by various officials participating in the UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai.
On the second day of the COP28 summit, President of the Central African Republic Faustin-Archange Touadéra emphasized that developed countries, being the primary polluters, should bear the cost of climate change. “When it comes to determining who should pay for the climate bill, the answer is, bearing in mind the gap between developed countries, which are the primary polluters, and poor countries, it would be logical for the former to finance the mitigation process," stressed Touadéra.
Also speaking on the second day, President of Equatorial Guinea Obiang Nguema Mbasogo echoed this sentiment. He emphasized that “it is not enough, in our view, for developed countries to simply wring their hands and make empty promises.”
“Rather, they need to fulfill their commitments and obligations under the Paris Agreement, which we achieved at COP21, and ensure the rollout and implementation of tangible, concrete action to mitigate the adverse impact of climate change,” the president added.
Building on this, Côte d'Ivoire Vice President Tiemoko Meyliet Koné urged partners to mobilize more resources for the adaptation of African countries to the effects of climate change and to ensure financing for the continent’s energy transition.
“Notwithstanding this, there is a need to avoid a situation in which finance for energy transition increases the debt of countries,” Koné emphasized.
This plea comes as Africa, one of the regions with the highest rates of carbon capture and oxygen release globally, experiences minimal benefits, as highlighted by Mbasogo.
“Africa, which bears the least responsibility in terms of emissions, is responsible for just 4 percent of global emissions. Unfortunately, Africa is a primary victim of the direct impacts of climate change,” Touadéra underlined during his speech.
Exhibition World Bahrain wins World’s Leading New Exhibition and Convention Centre 2023 award
Updated 3 min 12 sec ago
DUBAI: Exhibition World Bahrain (EWB) secured the World’s Leading New Exhibition and Convention Centre 2023 award at the World Travel Awards 2023, according to an official statement.
The award was presented to Dr. Nasser Qaedi, CEO of the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA), during the World Travel Awards 2023 Grand Final Gala Ceremony, which took place at Burj A-Arab in Dubai on Friday. The award was handed out in the presence of Philip Joseph Pierre, the prime minister of Saint Lucia, tourism ministers, and travel elites across the globe.
EWB captured the highest number of votes, clinching the internationally recognized award from Bharat Mandapam, India, and Takina Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre, New Zealand.
With this win, "Bahrain has further cemented its reputation as the leading global hub for the meetings industry (also known as the MICE industry) due to EWB’s versatility, with its ultramodern amenities and innovative services that cater to all types of events," the statement said.
Winning the award coincides with EWB’s first anniversary and celebrates a remarkable set of milestones. The venue is a sought-after destination for prestigious events, having hosted large-scale exhibitions, conventions, conferences, grand weddings, live concerts, product launches, seminars and much more.
EWB is strategically nestled within Bahrain’s vibrant Sakhir area, the kingdom’s up-and-coming hub for events, sports, and entertainment. The modern Arabesque structure is adjacent to Bahrain International Circuit, the home of Formula One and motorsport in the Middle East; Al-Dana Amphitheatre, the newest live entertainment destination in the region; and the soon-to-be developed Bahrain International Sports City, with easy access to the new Bahrain International Airport, over 18,000 hotel rooms across the island, and a wide range of attractions and dining experiences.
“It has been a privilege to receive this coveted award at the WTA ceremony. This remarkable accomplishment reaffirms EWB’s exceptional performance and continuous strides in the MICE industry, which is aligned with Bahrain’s tourism strategy 2022-2026 objectives to position Bahrain as a key regional player in business tourism and host major international exhibitions and conventions, increasing the tourism contribution to GDP, (increasing) the number of target markets, and diversifying the tourism product,” said Nasser Qaedi, CEO of BTEA.
“With the implementation of mega tourism projects, the kingdom of Bahrain is solidifying its position as one of the most sought-after destinations in the next five years, backed by well-developed infrastructure, unique attractions, and enticing promotional packages offering travel experiences and accommodations in the kingdom’s most prominent hotels,” Dr. Qaedi added.
EWB will host the ninth World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism in 2024, the world’s largest gastronomy tourism event.
Global leaders accelerate pace for decarbonization at COP28
Updated 16 min 18 sec ago
RANVIR S. NAYAR
DUBAI: Capitalizing on the positive momentum from the opening day of the UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai, global leaders, including heads of state and governments from over 117 countries, gathered at Expo City to set ambitious goals for transitioning toward more ecological and less carbon-intensive economies.
The boost to the mood was spurred by the announcement on Nov. 30 activating the “loss and damage fund” — a financial mechanism designed to assist countries affected by climate change. This initiative was endorsed last year during COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, with the specific operational details ironed out just hours before the commencement of COP28.
The operationalization of the “loss and damage fund” appears to have instilled a lot of confidence among participants at COP28, including leaders such as Kenyan President William Ruto, who welcomed the announcement as a sign of progress.
“We are seeing signs of progress for the first time. The ‘loss and damage fund’ is now being operationalized with real money. The conversation here has changed dramatically. I think there is a renewed commitment to making sure that we match action with what we’ve seen many times,” Ruto told Arab News.
He mentioned that he is aware of one of the problems associated with past meetings on climate change: there is rarely any follow-up to the lofty statements made during these gatherings.
“The accusation has been (that) we talk too much and there are no results. But I am very impressed with what I am seeing; there is now tangible progress being made. And hopefully, by the end of this COP, we will not only have significant resources deployed but also serious commitments made,” Ruto said.
Even though it ranks at the bottom of the list of continents in terms of carbon emissions, Africa has been at the receiving end of the negative impacts of climate change, especially through cycles of alternating prolonged droughts and flash floods.
In such a scenario, it is hardly surprising to see a large African delegation at COP28, and many African nations are now taking the lead in speaking up for themselves and launching their own initiatives. For instance, Ruto informed that Kenya was all set to announce a number of new initiatives.
He added: “We will be launching later today (Friday), with France, an agreement that will give us the opportunity to discuss taxation as a new mechanism for bringing resources for sorting out climate change that is threatening the whole globe. Secondly, we are also having a serious conversation about the Africa Green Industrialization Initiative to unlock the huge potential and opportunities that exist in Africa for green manufacturing, which is, if I may say, the silver bullet for growth into the future.”
Even on the issue of finance, which has blighted practically every single COP summit, Ruto seemed optimistic. “We need billions of dollars for climate adaptation, which is precisely why we are having a conversation about money already committed, and we are seeing traction in that money being released. That’s number one. Number two, we are looking at an opportunity where we have all agreed on a new international financial architecture that is, again, going to be much more fit for purpose with additional resources, with more money. And then number three, we are looking at new avenues of raising money, including carbon taxation and taxation on industries that will get more people on board,” Ruto said.
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said that the main objective of this COP is to expedite investments in green transition. “The main objectives here seem to be to speed up the investments in energy efficiency, to speed up the investments in the energy transition and also the diminishment of the use of the fossil fuels.”
There were some substantive declarations on Nov. 30 but Plenković expressed his expectation that, over the course of the next couple of days, as confidence builds, “there will be more money available.”
For Plenković, besides finance, another key development at COP28 is the global stocktaking that is taking place where various countries make a statement on where they stand currently vis-a-vis their commitments under the Paris Agreement for curbing their carbon emissions.
“I believe that the exercise of global stocktaking is a necessary requirement for phasing out carbon in a fashion that is timely, intelligent, swift and systematic. I think that the political will is here and that a lot of ambition in order to fulfill, first of all, the Paris Agreement objectives. And I think the awareness has been really raised to the maximum level,” Plenković told Arab News.
He said that his own country is moving rapidly toward a green transition across various sectors. “Well, we are investing heavily at the local level because, in a global sense, we are not a country that is polluting a lot. Our emissions are very low. On the contrary, they are below the thresholds that we have. But we are doing maximum to increase our investments in energy transition and energy efficiency.”
The Croatian prime minister emphasized on the tourism sector because his country ranks as the 18th destination in the world in terms of guests, with the arrival of 20 million tourists. This figure is significant for a nation of less than 4 million people. “We put this in the context of global development goals. Therefore, all of our investments are aimed at balancing economic growth, maintaining a protected environment, and reducing emissions,” Plenković said.
He added that the EU was very deeply engaged with climate change, not just internally but also at a global level. “There is no European Council that passes without climate as an issue and I think that we are really committed to provide as much as we can, both in terms of institutional framework investments and support to the countries that are in need,’’ Plenković explained.
However, not everyone seemed content with the developments and the pace of change. Miguel Ceara Hatton, minister of environment and natural resources of the Dominican Republic, said he is very concerned about the “loss and damage fund” proving to be inadequate. “We understand that there is not enough money for the 183 countries. If we talk about this, $100 billion is not enough. If we have to change our way of production, consumption and transportation, then we need much more than what is currently there, especially if we are talking about 183 countries,” Hatton told Arab News.
He added: “This crisis, the climate crisis is occurring at the same time in all countries in the world. So, for that reason, everybody needs money at the same time in order to get the transformation.”
Hatton felt the problem is that, in the end, each government has to be prepared to finance the changes. “But also, we try to get money from outside of the country, which is not going to be enough. But, in any case, we have to do the transformation. That’s the point, and that is adaptation,” he explained.
The Dominican Republic currently faces several challenges due to the climate crisis, Hatton informed. “The main problem is that we have a severe growth of Saragossa, a seaweed that is growing due to warmer seas. We also have the issues of transition of our energy and transportation. These are the three main things that we have to resolve in order to advance in the (fight against) climate change,” he said.
Despite the issues, Hatton said that he stays positive. He added: “Yes, we are optimistic. Yesterday (Friday) was a good day. And I think that we are moving. Not so far, not so quickly. But we are moving very slowly. Very slowly. But I hope to gain speed.”
The optimism despite challenges was also shared by Dan Smith, director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a think-tank that specializes in the study of conflicts and wars around the world.
“Events like COP are very important. But don’t expect anything to be revolutionized next week, next month, or even next year. Probably in a year’s time when COP29 comes, we will still be saying, look, we have to be more aware of this linkage. We have to do more about it, and we have to grip the problem better. But the awareness is rising,” Smith told Arab News.
He said the change in policy is visible. For example, more and more UN missions, international agencies, and indeed governments have advised them specifically on the link of climate and security attached to their operations. “So, there is progress. It’s slow. That’s not enough, but it’s something that’s good,” he explained.
Smith said that there was a direct connection between climate change and conflicts, a hypothesis that his institute has been studying for decades. “I think that maybe 10 or 15 years ago, we believed that there would be a connection between climate change and increased risk of conflict. Today, it is no longer speculation.”
Unfortunately, he said the hypothesis turned out to be correct, and “it is very clear that there is an increasing number of armed conflicts in which the impact of climate change plays a part in creating the conditions.”
“It also plays a part in making some conflicts harder to resolve. It makes it difficult sometimes for the UN operations in the way it should, where you have extreme weather events happening. It also offers a chance for the insurgents, the militia, and the jihadists to exploit that, too. Very often they are the first providers that are the first ones to come when there’s a flood, and then they actually increase their recruitment as a result,” he said.
Despite the positive mood around, for some NGOs (non-governmental organizations) like Terre Policy Centre, a Pune-based environmental policy organization, the real challenge lies in the day after COP28 gets over. “The issue of implementation and activation of all that has been said at the climate summit,” said Vinita Apte, chairperson of Terre Policy Centre.
“Today (Friday), we heard Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who gave a very good speech about green credit initiatives that India is launching. We have also seen many other leaders make major announcements. I always see people like the presidents and prime ministers come, and they give their statements and then they leave. Little of what is said is implemented and ultimately, it is for the common people around the world to deal with the aftereffects of climate change. But at least the governments should ensure that they help the populations and the NGOs deal with the challenges and provide finance,” Apte told Arab News.
Climate transition must be more holistic, says Bill Gates
Updated 02 December 2023
DUBAI: An effective transition to net zero requires an interdisciplinary approach that addresses manufacturing, agriculture, electricity and transport, according to tech and philanthropy giant Bill Gates.
In his address at the Business Philanthropy Climate Forum, held alongside the UN Climate Change Conference, COP28, in Dubai, Gates reiterated that while the primary focus in climate discussions tends to highlight electricity and transport solely, climate goals will not be met without a holistic approach.
The priority in the shift must also take into account the most vulnerable members of the global population, who are especially susceptible to the effects of climate change, he explained.
Gates drew examples from farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, urging attendees to take their suffering into account, while calling on support for higher productivity and more resilience in livestock.
Gates said: “We need, for the sake of justice, to help people adjust to the planet that is already warmer ... Our priority in this adaptation work should be those who are most affected. And the majority of those people are farmers in both sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and we can already see the crop loss that they’re suffering and what that means to them. So they need support to have higher productivity.”
COP28: Second day of leaders’ summit at UN climate talks
Updated 15 sec ago
DUBAI: Leaders of developing nations jumped into Saturday’s second day of a UN climate summit to press rich industrial countries to share their know-how to fight global warming and ease the financial burdens they face — while trumpeting their own natural resources that swallow heat-trapping carbon in the air.
The annual United Nations Conference of the Parties, known as COP28, in the UAE featured about 150 presidents, prime ministers, royals and other leaders who are presenting their plans to cut heat-trapping emissions and mostly seek unity with other nations to avert climate catastrophe that seemed to draw closer than ever in 2023.
“The private sector science tells us that, unless there are immediate rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting global warming to 1.5°C will be beyond reach,” according to Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister of Belgium.
Climate issue belongs neither to the deniers nor to the alarmist, it belongs to those who get up early, to those who grab every opportunity to contribute in speeding up the transition.”
Patrice Emery Trovoada, Prime Minister of Sao Tome and Principe: “To hear about these billions of dollars that are promised but are never received, this does not work with countries such as mine.”
“We prefer to rely on the liberating force of creativity and technological information and to rely on AI and to combat and to fight.”
“With 50,000 plus people, our small size and notable position as the smallest independent nation in the Western Hemisphere presents opportunity with the convergence of our geostrategic outlook global collaboration and focused investments especially in our energy sector,” Terrance Drew, Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis told the high-level segment of the UN climate talks.
“We can become the first model sustainable island state to be found anywhere in the world showcasing the path to progress and prosperity.”
“Finland remains committed to supporting developing countries in their climate action,” said Petteri Orpo, Prime Minister of Finland.
“Finland stands ready to support the new fund with €3 million. We underline the continued importance of other funding mechanisms including those supporting early warning system. We must also ensure that all financial flows are in the line with the Paris Agreement.”
Philip Joseph Pierre, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia: “The impacts have been devastating to our region. Loss and damage have struck at the core of our economies and our societies.”
“At one extreme, lives and livelihoods have been lost and the extreme our environment is under siege.”
We will be working to accelerate unabated coal phase-out across the world, building stronger economies and more resilient communities. The first step is to stop making the problem worse: stop building new unabated coal power plants
Special Envoy John Kerry, in announcing that the US is joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance
“With the high cost of living and high energy prices, many worry about how much the transition will cost and what it will mean for their jobs and incomes and living standards. These are legitimate concerns and we need to hear them we need to understand where people are coming from and offer reassurance,” said Leo Varadkar, Prime Minister of Ireland.
“Change is difficult but we must do everything in our power to make sure that the transition is just protecting the vulnerable and leaving nobody behind.”
“Today I am announcing a contribution of €25 million to the new loss and damage fund for 2024 and 2025, and we will make further contributions thereafter.”
“It is a political obligation for all countries, for all leaders to make a top priority out of jointly implementing the solutions and the commitments that we have signed up to. And here, time is the critical factor because nature continues on its course reacting to the conditions that human beings create with their actions and their emissions,” Joss Ulisses De Pina Correia e Silva, Prime Minister of Cabo Verde, said in his national statement.
“We encourage there to be a clear and urgent definition of the financing mechanism for loss and damage. We reaffirm also the urgent need to adopt the multidimensional vulnerability index as part of the climate finance criteria.”
Amount that the United States has pledged to the Green Climate Fund. The latest pledge would be additional to another $2 billion previously delivered by the US.
“Time is up and urgent action is now needed to deliver climate finance for lost and damage,” according to Dalton Emani Makamau Tagelagi, Prime Minister of Niue. “Niue is a net sink and has no responsibility for the causes of climate change. Niue is at high risk of tropical cyclones this season and of drought.”
“My people were living in fear of another catastrophic cyclone. Residents and low-lying coastal areas have slowly moved to higher ground to avoid detrimental impacts from damaging heavy swells.”
“How long must we now wait to have this new fund capitalized and how long must we wait before we can assess access the funds? Time is the luxury we do not have,” Philip Davis, Prime Minister of Bahamas, said in his speech.
“We are facing an existential paradox, the smallest contributors to global CO2 emissions yet among the hardest hit by climate catastrophe. This is not just an environmental crisis it is a glaring testament to the world where profits are prioritized over people and planets,” said Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda.
“It is a world where oil and gas conglomerates, shielded by the power of wealthy nations, continue to reap astronomical profits while the survival of nations like ours hangs in the balance.”
Housain Al-Arnous, Prime Minister of Syria: “It is time to work seriously to advance climate action and to accelerate emissions reduction through energy transition and also through using land sustainably and in an integrated manner. It is time to transition to sustainable food systems and to operationalize systems to limit loss and damage.””
Syria suffers from the impact of climate change. This is evident in the declining rainfall and the rise in dust storms and heat waves.”
“Italy is doing its part in the carbonization process and it does it in a pragmatic way that means with the technology neutral approach free from unnecessary radicalism,” according to Giorgia Meloni, the Prime Minister of Italy.
“Italy intends to direct an extremely significant share of the Italian climate fund whose overall endowment is €4 billion to the African continent, not however through a charitable approach, because Africa does not need charity, it needs to be put in the condition to compete on an equal footing in order to grow and prosper thanks to the multitude of resources that the continent possesses.”
Pope Francis pleads with COP28 to find breakthrough on climate change
DUBAI: Pope Francis on Saturday called on the UN climate summit to strive for a essential breakthrough agreement to stem global warming that includes the elimination of fossil fuels, saying climate had “run amok.”
The 86-year-old pope had planned to attend the conference but a lung inflammation forced him to remain in the Vatican. His full address was left with delegates and Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin shortened it in order to remain within the 3-minute time limit for speeches.
“Sadly, I am unable to be present with you, as I had greatly desired. Even so, I am with you, because time is short,” Francis said in his message.
“I am with you because now more than ever, the future of us all depends on the present that we now choose. I am with you because the destruction of the environment is an offense against God,” he said.
“May this COP prove to be a turning point, demonstrating a clear and tangible political will that can lead to a decisive acceleration of ecological transition,” he said. – Reuters
“We are working hard to achieve a 55 percent emission reduction by 2030 as compared to 1990 levels. Malta has also achieved a lot in these past years but we want to be more ambitious and to do much more: Robert Abela, Prime Minister of Malta, said in his speech.
“Having the lowest gross emission per capital among the EU member states means that our efforts need to be sturdier. In the past ten years we have managed to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector by 60 percent.”
“My country support the Paris agreement of the EU climate and energy including the goal of carbon neutral economy by 2050. We are taking steps to stop coal for electricity and heating by 2033. In part this can be achieved by renovating buildings and developing renewable energy sources,” according to Petr Fiala, Prime Minister of Czechia.
“I want to be clear that the success of our wider climate goals is fundamentally dependent on nuclear energy. This is a good thing as nuclear power is both reliable and clean so we should use its benefits.”
Jonas Gahr Store, Prime Minister of Norway: “Norway supports the call for global tripling of renewables and doubling of energy efficiency by 2030.”
Antonio Costa, the Prime Minister of Portugal, meanwhile said: “Climate transition in Portugal will present an enormous opportunity. An opportunity for research, development, towards innovation. An opportunity of investment, most of them already engaged, with an amount of €85 billion in the next two decades, representing 35 percent of our GDP.”
“We need to do more to cut emissions, a lot more. We need to accelerate a green energy transition, scale up green solutions, increase nature-based solutions, and make sure those who pollute pay,” Katrin Jakobsdottir, Prime Minister of Iceland, said in her statement.
“But we also need to do less. Our economic systems focus on maximizing production and consumption rather than sustainability and wellbeing. And this needs to change.”
“Iceland supports the phasing out of fossil fuels and subsidiaries of fossil fuels need to end. We should not burn public money to cook the planet, instead we should scale up support for clean solutions.”
“We have cut our coal use by over 80 percent. We are growing our economy at a much faster pace than the Eurozone average while reducing emissions. In total, our emissions are down by 43 percent from 2005 as we turn to renewable energy, the best performance amongst European countries,” Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Prime Minister of Greece, said in his statement.
“To put it plainly, the world must fulfill its financial commitments. It is as simple as that. In 2022, the IMF reported that $7 trillion were spent on fossil fuel subsidiaries, yet the global commitment to $100 billion per year to the Paris Agreement continues to struggle for fulfillment,” according to Mark Brown, Prime Minister of Cook Islands.
“We need to do much more to curb climate change. However, we are doing the opposite. Half of the CO2 emissions emitted in the last two centuries have been emitted in the past three decades, and they continue to grow,” according to Andrej Plenkovic, the Prime Minister of Croatia.
“Today, digital is enabling our green reform. Estonia’s parliament has adopted a new renewable electricity target of 100 percent by 2030. More than tripling our level of renewable production,” according to Kaja Kallas, the Prime Minister of Estonia.
“We’ve seen this year, one third of the days of the year exceed 1.5°C, this is a death sentence. And the reality is, unless we change course, we are going to see far more lives lost and far more damage done,” Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, said in her speech.
Evariste Ndayishimiye, President of Burundi, in his country statement, said “Burundi has committed via the Nationally Determined Contributions to protect the environment, to strengthen resilience towards climate change, and to boost food security. This is infused in our national policies and our vision for Burundi. An emerging country by 2040, and a developed country by 2060.”
“Though I applaud the current status of loss and damage (fund) and the inflow of funding supports, it is our hope that the challenge on the accessibility to the fund is limited or is eliminated,” said Kausea Natano, Prime Minister of Tuvalu, in his statement.
“Tackling the issue of climate change is one of the key priorities in all sustainable development programs and strategies in the Republic of Angola. It is a critical concern and one that deserves special attention,” Joao Manuel Goncalves Lourenco, President of Angola, said.
“We are committed to changing our national energy matrix prioritizing clean energy production sources and we’re doing this through the construction of hydroelectric plants and solar panels parks, which means that more than 65 percent of the current 6,400 MW of energy produced in the country now come from ecological sources.”
“Developing countries have prepared a broad path for developed countries who rely on our resources and yet trample all over us and do not allow us to tread the path with them,” David Choquehuanca Cespedes, Vice President of Bolivia, said in his statement.
“There can be no climate justice climatic without understanding genuine life sciences. There can be no climate justice without recognizing that human intelligence is what is important not artificial intelligence.”
Over 110 countries set to join COP28 deal to triple renewable energy
A pledge to triple the world’s installed renewable energy by 2030 is poised to win support from more than 110 countries at the COP28 climate summit on Saturday, with some pushing to make the deal global by the end of the UN conference.
The European Union, United States and COP28 host the UAE have been rallying support for the pledge as a means to the sharp drop in planet-warming emissions needed this decade to avoid unleashing more severe climate change.
Whether governments and companies will rally the huge investments needed to hit the goal is an open question. While deployment of renewables like solar and wind has been surging globally for years, rising costs, labor constraints and supply chain issues have forced project delays and cancellations in recent months.
Getting the deal into the final UN climate summit decision would also require consensus among the nearly 200 countries present. While China and India have signaled support for tripling global renewable energy by 2030, neither has confirmed it will back the overall pledge – which pairs the ramp-up in clean power with a reduction in fossil fuel use. – Reuters
“It is still possible for us to reduce emissions this decade and for us to reach a level that would allow us to achieve the 1.5°C goal, however, science tells us that we need to step up the pace,” according to Olaf Scholz, the Chancellor of Germany.
“I would like to present the following three proposals for you today. First, let us make the expansion of renewables our number one priority in energy policy globally. Let us agree on two binding targets here in Dubai, tripling the expansion of renewables and doubling energy efficiency, both by 2030.”
“As long as we still have to rely on gas, we have to ensure that we produce and transport it in as climate friendly as possible.”
“My second point concerns our international cooperation. We need forms in which to develop common solutions for the challenges of transformation.”
“My third proposal concerns solidarity and responsibility. Already in the year 2022, Germany has surpassed its objective of making available €6 billion ($6.5 billion) per annum for international climate finance.”
“I’m also confident that we will also achieve our goal of making available $100 billion per annum for international climate action together with other industrialized countries.”
“We recognize that transitioning to a low carbon sustainable economy is not only an environmental imperative but also an economic opportunity; therefore, we are still committed to promoting the use of green and clean energy, sustainable agriculture, and eco-friendly technologies,” Mohammed B. S Jallow, Vice President of Gambia, said in his speech.
“This transition will not only reduce our carbon footprint but also create jobs stimulate innovation and improve the quality of our life of our citizens.”
“The government of Botswana has made a decision to increase renewable energy penetration from two percent to 30 percent by 2030,” according to Mokgweetsi Eric Masisi, President of Botswana.
“As a developing country, Botswana prioritizes adaptation as it reduces the vulnerability of communities to climate related hazards and in so doing protecting livelihoods and ecosystems as well as enabling them to be more resilient.”
“As part of the eight Amazonian countries united in the Amazon corporation treaty organization, we are also committed to fight deforestation of the Amazon region. My country and people are forced to adapt to extreme dry and wet weather events which cause losses and damages,” Chandrikapersad Santokhi, President of Suriname, said in his national statement.
“At the same time, we must respond to the legitimate demands of our population for economic development and diversification as we do through a balanced approach consisting of developing the natural resources through environment-friendly strategy by sustainable forest management and active protection of biodiversity and also by continued transition to green energy and other green innovations and technologies.”
“Africa which bears least responsibility in terms of emissions, responsible for just four percent of global emissions, but unfortunately, Africa is a primary victim of the direct impacts of climate change,” according to Faustin-Archange Touadera, President of the Central African Republic.
“Central African Republic has been classed among the five countries which are most threatened by the effects of climate change.”
“When it comes to determining who should pay for the climate bill, the answer is, bearing in mind the gap between developed countries which are the primary polluters and poor countries, it would be logical for the former to finance the mitigation process.”
“For four years now, the country is suffering from floods, droughts, excessive heat high temperatures, and irregular rain patterns. These climate change related factors have negatively affected the livelihood of our people the people are internally displaced,” Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of South Sudan said in his national statement speech.
“That is causing subnational conflicts between the displaced and host communities. So, peace and security are clearly affected as a result of climate change.”
“We have come to this COP28 with the hope that we, the world leaders, will commit ourselves to the implementation of the provisions of the Paris Agreement.”
“Climate change financing to the less developed countries is very important so that these countries can implement their climate adaptation and mitigation projects,” he added.
“We are all now aware that climate change has an enormous impact on the fundamentals required for our survival on earth. It imposes developmental constraints and burdens on are already stretched resources and we, in Ghana are witnessing this phenomenon for ourselves at first hand,” said Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana.
“A few weeks ago parts of my country Ghana were confronted with the severe humanitarian crisis triggered by the spillage of water from our country’s largest hydroelectric dam due to unusually high rainfall patterns.”
“We encourage our international partners to support the V20 loss and damage fund, the global shield against climate risk, and ultimately the UNFCCC loss and damage fund to ensure the availability of robust social safety nets for the developing world during such climate crisis.”
“Africa is one of the regions with the highest rates of carbon capture and oxygen release in the world; yet, paradoxically we are the region which draws the least benefits,” according to Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea.
“In light of that it’s not enough, in our view, for developed countries to simply wring their hands and make empty promises. Rather, they need to fulfill their commitments and obligations under the Paris agreement that we achieved at COP21 and ensure the rollout and implementation of tangible concrete action to mitigate the adverse impact of climate change.”
“We issue an urgent call for renewed commitment at COP28 to provide Africa with adequate transparent and just financing going forward as well as ensuring the requisite transfer of technology.”
Mbasogo faulted developed nations for failing to deliver on their pledges to meet their commitments on financing for climate action and meet their own targets to curb their industries’ emissions.
“Africa is one of the regions in the world that sequesters the most carbon and emits oxygen,” he said.
“I urge the WHO to declare a public health emergency of international concern, the highest level of emergency that can be declared by WHO,” Jose Ramos Horta, President of Timor-Leste, said in his speech.
The Israel-Hamas conflict also loomed large in the proceedings with several leaders voicing sympathy for the Palestinians in Gaza as the week-long ceasefire ended, and vigorous efforts to extend the truce collapsed.
Israel bombarded eastern areas of Khan Younis in southern Gaza right after the truce ended.
“This year’s conference of the parties must recognize even more than ever that we cannot talk about climate change in isolation from the humanitarian tragedies unfolding around us,” King Abdullah II of Jordan said in his speech.
“As we speak, the Palestinian people are facing an immediate threat to their lives and wellbeing. In Gaza over 1.7 million Palestinians have been displaced from their homes. Tens of thousands have been injured or killed in a region already on the front line of the climate change.”
Today, the UAE announced the landmark US$30 billion ALTÉRRA climate focused investment vehicle, the largest ever, with the aim of mobilizing US$250 billion of institutional and private capital into climate action by 2030.
The high-level session was also a day of financial commitments, with host country UAE announcing the establishment of ALTÉRRA, the largest private climate vehicle, and a $30 billion commitment to the vehicle with the aim of mobilizing $250 billion of private-sector investment by 2030.