COP28 President Al-Jaber sets out plans for climate talks – E3G responds

This photo shows the COP28 President Designate Sultan Al Jaber attending the informal ministerial meeting on environment and energy in July 2023 in Spain.
The COP28 President Designate Sultan Al Jaber attends the informal ministerial meeting on environment and energy in July 2023 in Spain. Photo by EU2023ES on flickr. 


At the Ministerial on Climate Action in Brussels today, co-hosted by the EU, China and Canada, the incoming UAE COP28 President Designate Sultan Al Jaber gave a speech setting out his vision for COP28. 

With less than 5 months to go until COP28, the vision sets out 4 key areas of outcomes for COP28: “fast-tracking the transition, fixing climate finance, focusing on people, lives and livelihoods and underpinning everything with full inclusivity”.

Sultan Al Jaber has also requested the support of Barbara Creecy, Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries of South Africa and Dan Jørgensen, Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy of Denmark, to conduct political consultations on critical elements regarding the outcome of the first Global Stocktake at COP28. The Global Stocktake is a review of progress to the Paris Agreement. At COP28, governments in response to the GST have an opportunity to set out transformational plans to course-correct global climate action. 


Commenting on the speech by Sultan Al Jaber, Tom Evans, Policy Advisor on Climate Diplomacy and Geopolitics at E3G said:

“The UAE have taken on a lot the feedback that people were eager to hear them set out a vision and a forward process. They’ve shown more of a clear grip over the steppingstones between now and COP28. It’s coming later than expected, but it’s a step up. 

Al Jaber’s vision has the right ingredients. But the proof will be in the pudding. Keeping 1.5C in reach requires final agreements at COP28 to phase out fossil fuels, triple renewables, accelerate reform of the financial system to unlock money for mitigation and adaptation, and a functioning fund for loss and damage.” 

Alex Scott, Programme Lead on Climate Diplomacy and Geopolitics at E3G said:

“This vision shows that the UAE recognises the critical task global leaders face to use COP28 to set a new direction. With the first Global Stocktake of progress on our global climate goals it’s crucial leaders come away from COP28 ready to course correct all their policies – on energy, finance and addressing climate impacts through adaptation and responding to loss and damage. Recruiting ministers to lead consultations and planning ministerial meetings in September to force political level attention is a good move. 

Of course, there are gaps – Al Jaber pointed in his speech to the outstanding question of where responsibility lies for scope 3 emissions from the oil and gas industry and called for early pledges to fill gaps on loss and damage funding. There are not many months left to fill them. The UAE will need to recruit more support from ministers to get the COP28 course correction over the line.”

Lisa Fischer, Programme Lead on Climate Neutral Energy Systems at E3G said:

“Renewables and efficiency targets would be an important success for the UAE. But phasing out fossil fuels is the elephant in the room for them. They are not ignoring the agenda, but success will require them engaging with the fact of the inevitable decline of fossil fuel use. Oil, gas and coal use will plateau and peak before the mid of next decade even without more climate action – and much faster if the world steps up ambition. The UAE could and should step up and broker a deal that supports an orderly transition.”

Notes to Editors

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