Delegates from the UAE government, business and academia have joined their counterparts from around the globe at the event that runs from November 6th to 17th, 2017 in Bonn, Germany, to discuss the next steps in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and review the progress of the signatory countries in achieving their climate change goals.
Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, is heading the UAE delegation to COP23.
Presided by Fiji with the support of the German government, COP23 takes place against a backdrop of extreme weather events that have destroyed the lives of millions of people across Asia, the Americas and the Caribbean.
Dr Al Zeyoudi said, "This year witnessed devastating hurricanes, fires, floods, droughts, ice melting and impact on agriculture that could hugely threaten food security. This conference therefore serves as an ideal platform for strengthening cooperation frameworks that will allow countries to tackle the global challenges of climate change."
He added, "Considering the current alarming situations, we need to act more swiftly to maintain the momentum created by the historic Paris Agreement if we are to translate its objectives into practical measures. Today, let us together send a positive message from Bonn to the entire world through reaffirming our determination to move forward in shaping the future we aspire to achieve."
Speaking on the UAE’s ambitious climate action plans, Dr Al Zeyoudi said, "The UAE has made significant progress in combating the climate change impacts through our revolutionary national programs, such as the launch of the National Climate Change Plan 2050 and the National Climate Adaptation Program, which aim to strengthen our national capacities to withstand the climate challenges and transform them into opportunities that ensure long-term economic growth."
Dr Al Zeyoudi participated in a high-level panel discussion, held as part of the five-day agenda of events hosted by the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action to demonstrate how cities, regions, businesses and investors work side by side with governments to implement the Paris Agreement.
Highlighting the UAE’s contributions to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and UNFCCC, he noted that the National Climate Change Plan 2050 involves engaging companies and other non-government entities in climate and environment policy-making as well as introducing new solutions and technological innovations that help combat climate change. He emphasized that the country’s businesses are leading the change in many climate-related areas.
He said that the UAE tackles climate change through effective policies and initiatives that aim to diversify the economy into new, knowledge-based industries. He added that the country continues to dominate the clean energy sector with an ambitious clean energy target of 27 percent by 2021 and 50 percent by 2050. He also stressed that the UAE supports international climate action through renewable energy aid and investments in multiple commercial renewable energy projects across the globe. In closing, he emphasized that the country seeks to reinforce its status as a regional leader and global convener on climate action.