UAE COP 28 president-designate engages global south and energy industry

HE Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber | Photo: AP

Bengaluru: In his first international visit since the appointment as President-Designate for COP28 UAE, His Excellency Dr Sultan Al Jaber made the case for a pro-growth, pro-climate agenda to support an inclusive energy transition that leaves no one behind. Speaking at India Energy Week in Bengaluru at the Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable, Dr Al Jaber noted India’s strong recovery from the Covid pandemic and that the world’s fastest growing major economy was dealing with the central question of how to embed sustainable, environmentally friendly growth into its development model.

“As India’s economy surges, it is dealing with the fundamental question that the whole world faces. How to adopt policies that are pro-growth and pro- climate at the same time. How to provide for a world that will consume 30 percent more energy by 2050, while protecting our planet. In short, how to hold back emissions, not progress.”

The President-Designate made the point that the size of the challenge was matched by the size of the economic opportunity. He noted the significant rise in investment in renewable energy in recent years and India’s drive to add 500 GW of clean energy by 2030, adding that the UAE was keen to partner with India and the world on advancing clean energies.

H.E. Dr Al Jaber reiterated that policies should take into account the fact that too many people, particularly across the global south, still have no or very limited access to energy. Their needs must be met as we transition to a new energy system and accelerate progress on all aspects of the climate agenda.

“To succeed, when the debate around climate change only seems to be getting more divisive, we must act in solidarity and unity. We must empower the Global South, where almost 800 million people have no electricity, in an inclusive energy transition. We must eliminate energy poverty, while keeping 1.5 alive. And we need to move from talking about goals, to getting the job done. That is why we are calling for COP 28 to be a COP of Action and a COP for All. This is the decade where we must stop deliberating and start delivering across mitigation, adaptation, climate finance and loss and damage.

The size of this challenge is immense, but so is the opportunity.”

He added that he would work across all industries, including the energy industry to accelerate decarbonization of the current energy system and the growth of clean energy alternatives, adding that the energy industry should be leveraged as an integral part of the solution to the energy transition.

“I will use my experience, know-how and network of partners, and the unwavering support of my leadership, to convene the entire energy industry to speed things up. I will also work with other industries to help rapidly shift demand to viable alternatives that can replace current energy options. The energy transition will require every segment of society working together in an inclusive effort, and that surely means including the efforts of the energy industry. It's not a conflict of interest, it is in our common interest to have the energy industry working alongside everyone on the solutions that the world needs."

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