United Arab Emirates Announces Diverse Leadership Team for UNFCCC Climate Change Conference (COP28) Focused on Raising Global Climate Ambition
Under the directive of the President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, today announced the leadership team for COP28 UAE, taking place at Expo City Dubai from November 30 to December 12, 2023.
His Highness designated Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber to serve as COP President. Dr. Al Jaber will develop the COP28 agenda, in partnership with the UNFCCC’s Executive Secretary Simon Stiell and the Egyptian COP27 President Sameh Shoukry.
Her Excellency Shamma Al Mazrui, UAE Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Her Excellency Razan Al Mubarak, President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), will join H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber’s COP28 UAE team as the Youth Climate Champion and UN Climate Change High-Level Champion, respectively.
As the first country in the region to ratify the Paris Agreement, the first to commit to an economy-wide reduction in emissions, and the first to announce a Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative, the UAE is committed to raising ambition in this critical decade for climate action. The UAE is honored to have been endorsed as the host for COP28. Its bid for this role was rooted in its commitment to global responsibility and climate action in recognition of the critical importance of COP28 as the first Global Stocktake (GST) review since the Paris Agreement. As such, the UAE has appointed a strong and diverse leadership team to support practical, inclusive, and transformational progress as the outcomes of a successful COP28.
Dr. Al Jaber is Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT), has served as Special Envoy for Climate Change for two terms (2010–2016, 2020–present) and played a proactive participatory role at over ten COPs, including the historic Paris COP21 in 2015. He brings to this task two decades of executive business and leadership experience in government, climate policy and across the renewable and conventional energy sectors.
Dr. Al Jaber is the first CEO to ever serve as COP President, having played a key role in shaping the country’s clean energy pathway. Throughout his career, he has pioneered a practical and responsible approach to accelerating the energy transition that embraces climate action, energy accessibility, energy security and economic growth.
As the founding CEO of Masdar, he has overseen its mandate to accelerate the adoption of renewables within the UAE, across the region and globally. In his current role as CEO of ADNOC, he is spearheading decarbonizing and diversifying the company’s operations and investments in a drive to make today’s energies cleaner, while investing in the clean energies of tomorrow.
As COP28 President-Designate, Dr. Al Jaber will play a crucial role in leading the intergovernmental process, building consensus, and driving climate outcomes with a broad range of partners, including business and civil society, to raise ambition.
Commenting on his appointment as President of COP28, Dr. Al Jaber said:
“The UAE is approaching COP28 with a strong sense of responsibility and the highest possible level of ambition. In cooperation with the UNFCCC and the COP27 Presidency, we will champion an inclusive agenda that ramps up action on mitigation, encourages a just energy transition that leaves no one behind, ensures substantial, affordable climate finance is directed to the most vulnerable, accelerates funding for adaptation and builds out a robust funding facility to address loss and damage.
“I sincerely believe that climate action today is an immense economic opportunity for investment in sustainable growth. Finance is the key that can unlock climate action and the UAE is committed to supporting and facilitating the review of the international financial institutions to scale up public financing, leverage private finance and improve access.
“In doing so, we will bring a pragmatic, realistic and solutions-oriented approach that delivers transformative progress for the climate and low carbon economic growth. As a nation at the crossroads of the globe, the UAE is well-positioned to build bridges, foster consensus and bring the world together in one shared mission to keep 1.5C alive and protect the planet for the generations who will follow us.
“We will take an inclusive approach that engages all stakeholders from the public and private sectors, civil society, scientific community, women, and youth. We must especially focus on how climate action can address the needs of the Global South, as those most impacted by climate change.”
He added: “COP28 will undertake the first ever Global Stocktake (GST) since the Paris Agreement. The GST will provide the foundation to build momentum for this and future COPs and the UAE will look for an ambitious outcome in response to the GST from the negotiation process. This will be a critical moment to mobilize political will to respond to what the science tells us will need to be achieved to remain on target and limit global warming to 1.5C by 2050.”
Her Excellency Shamma Al Mazrui will serve as the Youth Climate Champion, a new role designed to elevate the global youth voice throughout the COP process and ensure young people’s skills and abilities are prioritized. She is currently the UAE’s Minister of State for Youth Affairs, where she focuses on youth empowerment and capacity development. H.E. Al Mazrui is also the Vice Chair of the Arab Youth Center, the Secretary General of the Education and Human Resources Council, Chairperson for Special Olympics UAE, and President of the National Center for Education Quality.
Her Excellency Razan Al Mubarak will serve as the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion with the mandate to strengthen engagement and mobilize efforts from non-state actors, including private sector partners, cities and other sub-national governments, indigenous peoples, and civil society. She is currently the President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, leading their campaign to preserve the world’s biodiversity.
The COP28 leadership team will be supported by the entire UAE Government, with Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, continuing to engage in her critical capacity leading the UAE’s domestic efforts in addressing climate change, preserving the environment and food systems transformation.
The appointment of this diverse leadership team for COP28 UAE comes at a pivotal moment, as the world faces increasing climate impact, challenges to energy security, food and water security and reversing biodiversity loss.
The UAE looks forward to welcoming the world to COP28 and to working together with all stakeholders in pursuit of balanced, ambitious, and inclusive outcomes as a hopeful legacy for our future generations.
This material is distributed by Daniel J. Edelman, Inc. on behalf of Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company PJSC - Masdar. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice, Washington, DC.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- COP28 UAE will take place at Expo City Dubai from November 30–December 12, 2023. The Conference is expected to convene over 70,000 participants, including heads of state, government officials, international industry leaders, private sector representatives, academics, experts, youth, and non-state actors.
- As mandated by the Paris Climate Agreement, COP28 UAE will deliver the first ever Global Stocktake — a comprehensive evaluation of progress against climate goals.
- The UAE will lead a process for all parties to agree upon a clear roadmap to accelerate progress through a pragmatic global energy transition and a “leave no one behind” approach to inclusive climate action.
UAE’s Track Record of Climate Action:
The UAE’s selection as the host country for COP28 reinforces its long track record of ambitious action on climate change. The UAE supports this vision at home and globally.
- The UAE was the first in the region to sign and ratify the Paris Agreement, commit to an economy-wide reduction in emission as well as to announce a Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative.
- In response to the challenge to all nations to accelerate progress at COP26 in Glasgow, the UAE was one of only two dozen countries to revise its climate targets, raising its 2030 reduction target from 23.5% to 31% by 2030.
The UAE is diversifying its own energy mix:
- It is the first to deploy peaceful nuclear power.
- It has established three of the largest and lowest-cost solar plants in the world and has set new records for the most-cost competitive solar and wind in the UAE and worldwide.
- It is the first country in the region to deploy industrial-scale carbon capture technology.
- It is a pioneer and driver of hydrogen energy.
- It is actively investing to lower the carbon impact of hydrocarbon fuels.
- To date, the UAE has invested $50billion in renewable energy in 70 countries and has pledged to invest over $50 billion in clean energy projects at home and abroad over the next decade.
- Since 2009, the UAE has hosted the Headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency.
- The UAE and the US launched the Partnership to Accelerate Transition to Clean Energy (PACE), a new clean energy framework in November 2022 to catalyze $100 billion in financing, investment, and other support to deploy 100GW of clean energy by 2035, especially in developing countries.
COP28 UAE Leadership Team:
Dr. Sultan Al Jaber
The appointment of Dr. Sultan Al Jaber is a reflection of the UAE’s commitment to driving forward a progressive and pragmatic global transition to clean energy.
Dr. Al Jaber, the first CEO to ever serve as COP President, leverages his decades-long experience in the energy sector, encompassing both renewable and traditional energies. In 2006, directed by the UAE leadership, he led the team who took Masdar from concept to reality, with the mandate to accelerate the adoption of renewables within the UAE, across the region and globally. To date, Masdar has made significant contributions to the UAE’s renewable energy targets, playing a key role in expanding the country’s portfolio with clean energy investments in over 40 countries around the world, including several vulnerable island states and African nations.
Under a new partnership with TAQA, Mubadala and ADNOC, Masdar is set to become one of the largest renewable energy investors in the world with an ambitious target of growing to at least 100GW of renewable energy capacity globally by 2030. In 2009, under the guidance of the leadership and the ongoing support of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, he led Masdar’s efforts in the UAE’s successful bid to host the headquarters of the "International Renewable Energy Agency” (IRENA) in Masdar City, with a mission to promote clean technology and sustainable development globally.
In 2009, Dr. Al Jaber was also appointed by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to his Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change (AGECC), which published its final report in 2010. The recommendations from this report formed the basis of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative launched in 2011.
In 2010, Dr. Al Jaber received an Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy from India’s TERI University, the Delhi based university that specializes in the field of sustainable development. In 2012, Dr. Al Jaber received the UN Champions of the Earth award for his work on advancing clean energy technologies to mitigate the threats of climate change. He has served twice as climate envoy and has been an active participant in over ten Conference of Parties, including the milestone COP21 that took place in 2015 in Paris.
In his current role as Group CEO and Managing Director of ADNOC, he has overseen the national oil company’s (NOCs) emergence as one of the world’s most carbon-efficient oil and gas companies, building on a long-standing sustainability legacy that includes being one of the first NOCs to commit to zero gas flaring. Since his appointment in 2016, he has applied technology across ADNOC’s operations to increase its carbon efficiency, with a goal to further reduce GHG intensity 25 percent by 2030.
Under HE Dr. Sultan Al Jaber’s leadership, ADNOC is investing $15 billion over five years in its decarbonization strategy and its new low carbon solutions business and its shareholding in Masdar, as it delivers on its target to reduce its carbon intensity by 25% by 2030 and its ambition to reach net-zero by 2050.
In particular, he directed the expansion of a first-in-the-region carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) program. ADNOC’s Al Reyadah CCUS facility currently captures 800K tons of CO2 annually, with a plan to expand over 500 percent by 2030 to capture 5 million tons of CO2 annually. And, in an industry first, since the beginning of 2022, ADNOC now sources 100 percent of its grid electricity from zero carbon nuclear and solar sources. In addition, ADNOC has expanded investments in zero carbon energies, including wind, solar and hydrogen.
Her Excellency Shamma Al Mazrui - @shamma
In her current role as the UAE’s Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Vice Chairman of the Arab Youth Center, H.E. Shamma Al Mazrui, represents youth’s challenges and aspirations in the UAE’s cabinet, using the voice of youth to continuously develop and implement strategies to expand opportunities and engage young people. The Youth Climate Champion role is a recognition of the need to empower young people in the climate action process and capitalize on the innovative skills, capacities, and abilities of the world’s nearly 2 billion youth.
Her Excellency Razan Al Mubarak
The appointment of Her Excellency Razan Al Mubarak, a world leader in the protection of ecosystems and biodiversity, reflects the UAE’s ongoing commitment to nature-based solutions. H.E. Al Mubarak’s storied career and impact in conservation and environmental management across the public and private sectors positions her favorably to connect non-state actors with government efforts to spur greater climate action. Currently, as President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), H.E. Al Mubarak is responsible for implementing the vision, mission, and strategy of the organization, which represents over 1,400 members, including states, government agencies and non-government organizations from 160 countries.
Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri
The COP28 UAE leadership team will be supported by the entirety of the UAE Government, including Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), who will continue to lead the UAE’s domestic efforts in addressing climate change, coordinating the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and setting the pathway for the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative.
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