New Delhi: Maintaining the global warming target of 1.5 degrees Celsius is “non-negotiable,” COP28 President-designate Sultan Al Jaber said at an event in the Indian capital on Wednesday. Furthermore, it is evident that business as usual will not bring us there. Our approach to mitigation, adaptation, funding, and loss and damage must undergo a paradigm shift,” he stressed.
Al Jaber referred to India’s plan to add 500 GW of clean energy generating capacity over the next seven years as a “strong” declaration of intent. “As one of the largest investors in renewables, the UAE will explore all opportunities for partnership with India to contribute to its high growth, low carbon pathway,” said Al Jaber, CEO of State oil giant Abu Dhabi National Oil Corporation (ADNOC) and founding CEO of Masdar, a government-owned renewable energy company, speaking at The Energy and Resources Institute’s World Sustainable Development Summit.
He stated that the UAE will investigate all chances to cooperate with India and contribute to its “high growth, low carbon” path.
Al Jaber met with union environment minister Bhupendra Yadav and external affairs minister S Jaishankar earlier in the day.
“Met with COP 28 President-elect Dr. Sultan Al Jaber. Our conversation discussed cooperation on climate change concerns during India’s G20 presidency and the future UAE COP28 chairmanship. During COP28, the Global Stocktake, the Global Adaptation Objective, Climate Financing, and Loss and Damage must be prioritised. Also emphasised the urgency of embracing Lifestyle for Environment, or LiFE,” Yadav tweeted after their meeting.
“It is a pleasure to meet Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and High Technologies of the United Arab Emirates and COP 28 President-elect. Jaishankar tweeted that they exchanged ideas on advancing our common priorities during India’s G20 Presidency and @COP28 UAE.
Our tremendous nation (India) is well on its path to becoming the world’s third-largest economy. This makes it one of the largest energy consumers. Thus, India’s sustainable development is essential, not only for India, but for the entire globe,” Al Jaber stated in his speech.
Al Jaber is the first incumbent CEO of an oil company to lead the UN Climate Conference (COP).
Al Jaber has attempted to allay worries regarding the potential conflict of interest that his nomination as the chief climate negotiator may cause.
While some experts believe it is pragmatic to concede that global warming will exceed the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold (over pre-industrial levels) — which could occur as early as the next decade — others believe that abandoning one of the pillars of the historic Paris agreement would send the wrong message. The United Arab Emirates will host the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) in November.
Al Jaber stated that COP28 will also advocate for the expansion and delivery of climate finance, another sensitive issue in global climate negotiations. “Ladies and gentlemen, the necessary step change in progress will take not just billions, but trillions of dollars. Moreover, we must ensure that this cash is readily available and affordable. The reform of international financial institutions and multilateral development banks will be a significant facilitator. We must mobilise significantly more concessional financing to free up more money from the private sector and target investments where they are most needed. As such, scaling and accelerating climate finance will be one of the primary objectives of the COP28 President, and we will mobilise all necessary parties to achieve this.”
Key components of Al Jaber’s proposal to maintain the 1.5 degree C target are hydrogen, carbon capture, and renewable energy capacity. “We must triple the capacity for renewable energy, double the production of hydrogen, extend nuclear power, strengthen battery storage, scale up carbon capture, and increase efficiency,” he stated.
The main agenda item at COP28 will be a global stocktaking, the first-ever assessment of how well countries have aligned themselves with the Paris Agreement goals of keeping global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. There will likely be negotiations regarding the Global Goal on Adaptation and money for adaptation, which are crucial for climate-vulnerable nations like India.
“The United Arab Emirates may have the largest renewable energy investments abroad. They have invested in around 44 nations via MASDAR (also known as Abu Dhabi Future Energy Corporation). They began investing in renewables before renewables were available. Domestically, the UAE has big goals. Already, they are investing in hydrogen and exporting ammonia. Hence, they are seeing the New World. In a February 12 interview with HT, Francesco La Camera, director-general of the International Renewable Energy Agency, stated, “They are really concerned about the success of the climate summit.”
TERI honoured Al Jaber with the Distinguished Alumni Award on Wednesday since he holds an honorary degree in philosophy from TERI and has previously studied in India.
Yadav, who delivered the keynote lecture at WSDS, stated that India is addressing climate change and biodiversity loss while having the world’s fastest-growing economy. India has 75 Ramsar Wetland sites, 33 elephant reserves, 53 tiger reserves, twelve Blue Flag beaches, has successfully implemented a ban on single-use plastic, has revised its nationally determined contribution under the Paris Agreement, and has reintroduced Cheetahs from two African countries.
“India has previously submitted its Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategy document at COP 27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, which is founded on the two primary pillars of climate justice and sustainable lifestyles in addition to CBDR-RC principles. With this, India has joined the privileged group of 58 nations that have submitted new or revised LT-LEDs… Not only on a domestic level, but also on an international scale, India has been helpful by providing valuable extra contributions, particularly to Small Island Developing States that are especially vulnerable to rising sea levels. India has established and fostered the Disaster Resilient Infrastructure Coalition, Yadav noted.