COP28 chief urges fast and fair energy transition

The president designate of the upcoming COP28 meeting has urged developed nations to increase their funding for emerging economies as he said a fair energy transition was more vital now than ever before.

Sultan Al Jaber, UAE minister of industry and advanced technology, made his comments in an address at the Friends of Paris High-Level Dialogue meeting held in Beijing this week.

Calling for a robust response to the Global Stocktake, Al Jaber said, “We have no time to waste, and we need a detailed action plan that delivers a robust and comprehensive response to the Global Stocktake across the key pillars of the Paris Agreement. We must agree on an ambitious mitigation work program, finalise the global goal on adaptation, establish a fund for loss and damage and agree on an equitable approach to means of implementation.”

Acknowledging that the world is not on track to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement, Al Jaber said that the COP28 Action Agenda will help “translate all the ambitions of Paris into practical results.”

“The first pillar of that agenda is a fast, fair, equitable and well-managed energy transition,” he said. “China’s remarkable leadership in this transition is one of the reasons I am optimistic that we can make breakthrough progress.

“This great country has already installed 1000 GW of renewable energy capacity and will add another 500 GW in wind and solar in the next three years alone. This aligns closely with COP28’s call for a global goal of tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030. And with China leading the way, I am sure the whole world can do it.”

He added China will also “play a vital role in expanding green growth through expanding South-South cooperation with the Belt and Road Initiative”. The initiative is designed to drive investment in green infrastructure in emerging and developing economies.

Al Jaber stressed the importance of operationalising the fund and funding commitments for loss and damage at COP28 and again urged donor countries to double adaptation finance by 2025 and replenish the green climate finance.

Discussing the importance of preserving nature, Al Jaber explained: “China’s commitment to ecological civilisation, enhancing natural ecosystems and achieving a nearly 100 per cent improvement in air quality since 2015.”

The  event was the fifth meeting of the Friends of Paris High-Level Dialogue, a non-government platform to “convene climate champions to explore ideas for implementing the Paris Agreement”. The meeting featured wide ranging discussions on the energy and industry transition and financial flows for climate and financial reform.