ABU DHABI — The UAE is keen to launch more positive and ambitious initiatives and engage with all relevant parties, as the world needs tangible solutions to address climate challenges, said Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28 and president of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Al Mubarak, in an interview with WAM, revealed that more than 1,000 private sector executives and members of the Dubai Chamber had joined the path towards reducing global emissions by half by 2030 and reaching zero emissions by 2050.
She also called on more institutions to continue their diligent efforts and raise their ambitions and commitment to remove carbon and adopt environmentally-friendly measures to combat climate change, stressing the need to listen to everyone’s opinions so that they can play an active and engaged role in the path to COP28 and beyond.
The event, titled “Road to COP28: Driving Collective Climate Action in the UAE,” provided an opportunity for all local stakeholders and non-governmental actors to learn more about COP28’s climate leadership roles and presidency, including international climate initiatives, such as “Race to Zero” and “Race to Resilience,” in addition to the UAE Alliance for Climate Action.
In her speech at the opening session, Mubarak emphasized, “Facing an increasingly precarious future due to climate change and nature loss, it is the role of the High-Level Champions to underscore, on a global level, that comprehensive climate action is an all-of-society mandate. As hosts of COP28, the UAE has a unique opportunity to unite our community in pursuing a net-zero, climate-resilient, and nature-positive future.”
Al Mubarak introduced the “Race to Zero” and the “Race to Resilience” global campaigns, and showcased the 2030 solution pathways and available projects as part of the COP27 Presidency backed Sharm El Sheikh Adaptation Agenda. The “Road to COP28” event served as a platform for local businesses to understand how they can lead by example, particularly by committing finance, expertise, and resources to mitigation and adaptation projects.
For their part, the High-Level Champions are working closely with regional leaders to drive ambitious climate action, particularly in areas where it is needed most, and where adaptation to the impacts of climate change, such as droughts, floods, rising sea levels, and extreme heat are becoming more prevalent.
The UAE is continuing to strengthen its protected areas, foster sustainable agricultural practices, enhance environmental quality, and implement additional nature-based solutions. This commitment will help further ensure the environmental prosperity and sustainability of the UAE for future generations.
The High-Level Champions highlighted the importance of climate action including in hard-to-abate sectors such as the built environment, particularly relevant for rapidly developing countries such as the UAE.
Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President & CEO of Dubai Chambers, stated, “We recognize the crucial role businesses play in combating climate change, and remain committed to supporting local companies in achieving their environmental and climate goals. Our focus is on promoting sustainable business practices, encouraging green innovation, and advancing the development of a competitive, low-carbon economy. Through our activities, we will continue to support the drive to establish Dubai as a leading example of a net-zero, climate-resilient business community that is contributing to a better tomorrow.”
As the UAE advances towards a sustainable future, its businesses – ranging from startups to established enterprises – are making significant progress towards net-zero emissions.
The event demonstrated how local organizations are adopting innovative and ambitious solutions to reduce carbon footprints and showcase a strong commitment to sustainability as well as climate resilience.
Industries across the board are enthusiastically reimagining operations, investing in renewable energy, and adopting sustainable practices, thereby setting a regional precedent. This proactive approach not only validates the feasibility of a net-zero future but also highlights the economic opportunities that this green transition can yield.