His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and President-designate of the Conference of the Parties (COP28), stressed the need to simultaneously adopt policies supportive of climate action and economic growth to ensure a transition in the energy sector that includes everyone and leaves no one behind.
This came on his first international visit after he was assigned the task of the appointed president of the COP28 Conference of the Parties, which will be hosted by the UAE at the end of this year.
During his speech before the meeting of energy ministers in Asia that was held as part of the activities of the India Energy Week in the Indian city of Bengaluru, His Excellency praised the rapid recovery of India, which is the fastest growing major economy in the world, from the Covid pandemic, as well as the way it dealt with the adoption of policies supportive of growth and climate action in a way synchronous.
His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said: “With the growth of India’s economy, it faces the main dilemma that stands before the entire world, which is how can policies supportive of growth and climate action be adopted simultaneously? How can energy be provided to the world, which will need to increase its consumption by 30% by 2050, while protecting the planet? In short, how can we focus on reducing emissions, and not on reducing growth rates and progress?
The appointed president of COP28 added that the challenge facing the world is huge, and that the available economic opportunities are also great, pointing to the tendency to increase investment in renewable energy in recent years and India’s efforts to reach the production of 500 gigawatts of clean energy by 2030, stressing that The UAE has the willingness, desire and ability to partner with the Republic of India.
He added, “Last year, despite an ongoing war, fears of economic recession, and the world’s continued attempts to recover from the Covid pandemic, annual global investment in clean technology exceeded $1 trillion for the first time. This path continues to grow. Most of this new growth will be driven by dynamic Asian economies.
His Excellency explained that the UAE has spent the past two decades working to diversify its energy mix, investing in peaceful nuclear energy, and is currently investing in hydrogen, and is working to expand its global share of renewable energy to at least 100 gigawatts by 2030, calling for everyone to participate with UAE so that the world can triple global renewable energy production over the next seven years.
He reaffirmed that policies must take into account the fact that many people, especially in the countries of the South, still lack or have very limited access to energy. Stressing the need to meet their needs during the world’s transition to a new energy system and to accelerate progress in all aspects of climate action.
His Excellency explained that success in achieving this goal, at a time when the dialogue on the issue of climate change is causing more division, requires the world to join hands.
He said, “We need to support the countries of the south, where there are about 800 million people who do not have access to electricity, as part of a comprehensive transition in the energy sector … We need to eliminate the lack of energy, while maintaining the goal of not exceeding the rise in global temperature.” level of 1.5 degrees Celsius. We also need to move from talking about setting goals to implementing them. For this reason, we call for COP28 to be a results-oriented and inclusive conference.”
In this crucial decade for climate action, His Excellency stressed the need to move from talking about setting goals to achievement, especially in the issues of: mitigation, adaptation, climate financing, and losses and damages, stressing that the challenge is huge, but it represents opportunities available in the same size.
His Excellency stressed that the transition in the energy sector is a complex issue that requires the rearrangement of global economies, and indicated that despite the significant growth in the production capacity of wind and solar energy, renewable energy by itself will not be sufficient to meet demand, especially to achieve transition in sectors whose emissions are difficult to mitigate. .
He added that in the absence of a major breakthrough in energy storage systems using batteries, we need to enhance our investments in carbon capture and storage technology, nuclear energy, and all aspects of the hydrogen value chain, explaining that spending on these basic factors to enable emissions reduction is less than 5% of what It is being spent on renewables, so this spending has to be increased… And when it comes to change, this also applies to the oil and gas sector.
He pointed out that the world still needs hydrocarbons, and will still have to rely on them during the transition from the current energy system to the new energy system. He said, “We cannot stop relying on the current energy system before building the new system. So, we need to reduce the carbon footprint of these resources, invest in less carbon-intensive oil and continue to reduce its emissions intensity.”
His Excellency stressed that he will work with all sectors, including the energy sector, to accelerate the pace of reducing emissions from current energy sources and increase the growth of clean energy alternatives, adding that the energy sector is an integral part of the solution needed to achieve transition in the sector.
He said, “Through my experience, knowledge, and relationships with partners and the unlimited support of the leadership in the UAE, I will seek to unite the efforts of the energy sector in order to accelerate this process. I will also work with other sectors to help quickly transform demand into viable alternatives that can replace existing energy options.”
He stated that the transition process in the energy sector requires the concerted efforts of all segments of society in a process that includes everyone, including of course the energy sector, explaining that this does not represent a conflict of interests, as it is in our common interest that the energy sector work alongside all parties to find the solutions it needs. the world.
He stressed the need to involve all stakeholders who are able to contribute to achieving faster progress through partnership, saying: “We must mobilize the efforts of all segments of society, including governments and companies, scientists and academics, civil society organizations and youth.
We need everyone to get involved, everyone moving in the same direction, and I really do mean everyone. I would like to invite all stakeholders in our future and anyone who can contribute solutions to join us, collaborate with us, and share ideas.”
He stressed that progress in climate action and the transition in the energy sector must include everyone and provide a fair deal for the countries of the South, explaining that: “The transition process in the energy sector is expected to achieve the most radical shift in economic prosperity rates since the first industrial revolution, but this must be Transition is practical and fair.
Looking at the countries of the South, little justice has been done so far, and we need to address this head-on. Past pledges on climate finance made by the world have either been paid for or not delivered at all. We need to deliver on these pledges.
At the same time, we must work to reform the international financial institutions and multilateral development banks. We need concessional financing solutions for vulnerable communities around the world, in order to reduce risk, attract more private financing, and turn billions into trillions.
He added that capital has a major role in supporting and activating the Compensation Fund for Loss and Damage, and doubling the financing allocated for adaptation in the communities most vulnerable to the repercussions of climate change, although they are the least contributing to its occurrence.
At the end of his speech, His Excellency stressed the importance and enormity of the task that rests with the world, calling on all stakeholders to participate, cooperate and exchange ideas in order to find the necessary solutions in this crucial decade for climate action. He said: “The task that lies with us is very important, and we must mobilize efforts All segments of society, including governments and corporations, scientists and academics, civil society organizations and youth, because the task required of us represents the largest shift in human evolution in all aspects of our lives, from the ways we produce and consume energy, to how we grow our food and conserve our water and natural ecosystems.
His Excellency added, “The UAE Presidency of the Conference of the Parties is ready to listen and interact. Let us face this challenge and turn it into an exceptional opportunity, and together we will achieve progress and a radical, lasting and comprehensive transformation for all.”