The UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri highlighted the importance of collective action and collective finance to strengthen sustainable development and called upon G20 countries to fulfil their commitment to providing the pledged financial support for global climate initiatives.
Her Excellency addressed the G20 Environment and Climate Sustainability Ministerial Meeting in Chennai, India, where Her Excellency reinforced the UAE’s commitment to environmental and climate sustainability at two key meetings.
The Ministerial Meeting, held on the final day of the three-day Fourth Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group (ECSWG) Meeting under India’s G20 Presidency, was attended by India’s Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav, HE Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and COP28 President-Designate and other distinguished representatives from around the world.
At Session I – ‘Environment and Climate Sustainability: Climate Change, Ocean/Blue Economy, Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy’, HE Almheiri highlighted the UAE’s commitment to addressing climate change and to ensure that 2023 is a milestone moment in climate action as host of COP28.
HE Mariam Almheiri said: “I want to take this opportunity to focus on two key principles, which are integral to addressing climate change – number one is collective action and number two is collective finance. Just recently, the UAE has taken a bold and progressive step of publishing a Third Update to its Second Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). I am proud to say that so far, we have set our goal of achieving 40% carbon emissions reduction by 2030, versus business as usual, in line with our pathway to achieve Net Zero by 2050.”
He Almheiri underlined the collective responsibility to push our ambition as much as possible for it is only by collective action that a global community can achieve the global emission reduction target.
Her Excellency said: “We urgently call upon the developed countries to demonstrate proactive leadership by fulfilling their commitment, made 14 years ago to provide the pledged $100 billion. It’s time to take decisive action and uphold their responsibility to support global climate initiatives.”
Her Excellency said the UAE is committed to co-leading the Global Green Economy Alliance, which assists countries in transitioning to green economies, and highlighted the recently announced the COP28 Food and Agriculture Agenda, inviting G20 nations to join the UAE in championing changes for global food systems, aligning with the UAE’s position as Pro-Growth and Pro-Climate.
Her Excellency said: “We proudly present the COP28 Food and Agriculture Agenda, appealing to governments worldwide to endorse a Leaders Declaration on Food Systems, Agriculture, and Climate Action. I invite G20 nations to join us in this mission in championing transformative changes for global food systems, ensuring a sustainable and resilient future for all.”
At Session II – ‘Environment and Climate Sustainability: Land and Biodiversity, and Water Resource Management’, HE Almheiri stressed the importance of ecosystem restoration and biodiversity preservation and how COP28 in the UAE will focus on nature-based solutions for a resilient future.
Emphasising the Mangrove Alliance for Climate, a joint initiative between the UAE and Indonesia, HE Almheiri said: “We all have a deep connection with our ecosystems. The UAE is already home to 60 million mangroves spanning 183 square kilometres, providing indispensable coastal protection and biodiversity. With a capacity to capture 43,000 tonnes of carbon, our mangrove forests serve as a vital sink. That is why we stepped up our ambition to expand our cover by raising the planting target to more than an additional 100 million by 2030.”
Her Excellency underscored the benefits of climate action on the economy by creating new industries and protecting the natural world. Her Excellency also highlighted the importance of water resource management and combating desertification, showcasing the UAE’s holistic approach to environmental stewardship.
These discussions confirm the UAE’s commitment to comprehensive, inclusive, and proactive action to tackle climate change, with an ambitious domestic agenda and contributions to global efforts.