Mon 10-10-2022 15:13 PM
By Binsal Abdulkader
ABU DHABI, 10th October (WAM) -- COP 28, the UN conference on climate change to be hosted by the UAE next year, will be a significant one, as it will mark the first global stocktake of climate progress since the Paris Agreement, a top U.S. official told the Emirates News Agency (WAM), adding that the UAE's leadership in global climate action is going to be critical.
“I am confident [about the success of COP 28] because the UAE has really been a leader in the climate sphere, which is one of the reasons that they were chosen to host the COP 28,” said John F. Kerry, U.S. Presidential Envoy for Climate, while talking about the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will be held in Dubai in 2023.
In an exclusive interview with WAM in Abu Dhabi, he said that 2023 would be a very special year, different from this year [in climate action], because the process [COP 28] is going to require that we evaluate where we are, so by definition COP 28 is going to be a very significant COP and the UAE’s leadership is going to be critical,” he emphasised.
The U.S. Presidential Envoy was on a visit to attend the Sustainability Summit organised by the Economist, and the fifth annual One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund summit in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
COP 27 and crucial cooperation with UAE
Kerry expressed his hope that COP 27 to be held in Sharm El- Sheikh in Egypt next month would provide additional ambition for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.
“COP 27 will see countries come together on the ways in which we can combine reducing emissions with good policy in terms of growing economies and having a smooth transition [to net zero].”
The U.S. and the UAE are cooperating on a number of climate action initiatives, and especially the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate) that will help many other countries, the envoy said.
AIM for Climate, a major new initiative led by the UAE and the U.S. with the support of over 30 governments, had announced in November 2021 an "early harvest" of US$4 billion of increased investment to accelerate innovation for climate-smart agriculture and food systems over the next five years.
The initiative will help tackle drought, the challenges of extreme heat and develop resilient crops, Kerry noted. “There is a lot of work that the UAE has done on this. So, it's a very helpful partnership.”
U.S. remains committed to Gulf
The United States remains deeply committed to peace and development in the Arabian Gulf region, the top diplomat stressed.
He pointed out that the attention of world nations has been diverted to certain important global developments such as the conflict in Ukraine, the coronavirus pandemic and inflation in global economy.
“[Still], I don't think there is any reason to believe that the United States is less, somehow, engaged or involved [in the Arabian Gulf]. And as you know, President Biden has been to the region and Secretary of State Blinken has been here, and we remain committed,” asserted Kerry.
He was sworn in on 20th January 2021, as the United States’ first Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and the first-ever Principal to sit on the National Security Council entirely dedicated to climate change.