• Will the UAE Host COP28?

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Will the UAE Host COP28?

Nov 11 2021

The UAE bid to host COP28 in 2023 picked up momentum this month, after it received the backing of the Asia Pacific Group of nations. The ringing endorsement came at this year’s incarnation of the annual climate conference, where the UAE is represented by a team of senior officials and delegates.

Chief among those is Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan, who serves as the country’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. “We are grateful and honoured with the endorsement to host COP28 in the UAE in 2023, and look forward to the confirmation of the UNFCCC,” he remarked. “As a young, inclusive country that celebrates its Golden Jubilee this year, we believe partnership is the key to progress and to solving global challenges.”

Leading by example

The UAE is a prime candidate for hosting the 2023 edition of the Conference of the Parties to the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change. Over the course of the last 50 years since its creation, the UAE has consistently shown its commitment to collaborating with other nations to overcome global challenges, of which climate change is perhaps the biggest of the modern era.

Indeed, the UAE’s steadfast pursuit of sustainability stretches all the way back to 1989, when it ratified the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol. Six years later, it joined the UNFCCC, before ratifying the Kyoto Protocol in 2005 and becoming the first Gulf nation to sign the Paris Agreement in 2019.

In terms of concrete action, the UAE was the first country in the region to introduce emissions targets across a wide range of industries and economies. It has recently invested some $17 billion in renewable energy projects in more than 70 territories across six continents, with a special focus on helping out low-income countries and developing nations.

Playing its part

Sheikh Abdullah and his team have arrived in Glasgow with a determination that the UAE will play its role in ensuring that COP26 has a positive impact upon the environment in the goals it sets and the measures it introduces. For that reason, the government launched its Net Zero 2050 Strategic Initiative to curb its national emissions just weeks before COP26 kicked off.

It has also announced plans to invest over $160 billion into clean sources of energy by 2050, by which date it also aims to have sourced more than 50% of its total energy needs via sustainable means. The UAE has already made great progress in that particular sphere, given that it is home to three of the world’s biggest and most cost-effective solar power facilities in the world.

For all those reasons and more, the UAE represents an excellent candidate for the presidency of COP28. While a formal decision is not expected to take place imminently, the Emirati bid is one which will take some beating from other interested parties, especially in the wake of the endorsements it has received from other nations in the area and beyond.

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