COP28 President-Designate urges G20 nations to lead way on climate action


With only 124 days left for COP28 UAE, COP President-Designate Dr. Sultan Al Jaber has urged G20 nations to take a leadership role on climate action.

He said that their decisions will have an enormous influence on the outcomes for all countries.

In a speech at the G20 Climate Sustainability Ministerial Meeting in Chennai, India, Dr. Al Jaber expressed concern that his call at last week’s meeting in Goa to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 has "yet to find expression in G20 outcomes," despite its importance to the goal of keeping 1.5C within reach.

"As a group, the G20 represents 85 per cent of the world’s GDP and 80 per cent of the world’s emissions. What you decide will have a huge influence on outcomes for everyone, everywhere," he told ministers.

"There is still time for the G20 to show leadership, and I am calling on all of you to work with your leaders to drive global climate action in this critical decade."

Dr. Al Jaber also called on all parties to show solidarity and demonstrate commitment to the UN Secretary General’s Climate Solidarity Pact and Acceleration Agenda.

"I made the case for all parties to get behind a rapid scale up of renewable energy, while we comprehensively decarbonise the current energy system and build towards a system free of all unabated fossil fuels," he explained.

The COP28 Presidency is urging nations to accelerate the implementation of ‘30x30’ – the target to conserve 30 per cent of terrestrial and marine habitat by the end of this decade – and is also calling for expansion of the Forest and Climate Leaders Partnership.

"If we are going to make progress on adaptation, we first have to define what success looks like in terms of stopping biodiversity loss, restoring agricultural land, preserving forests, protecting coastlines, ensuring no-one goes hungry and safeguarding lives and livelihoods everywhere," Dr. Al Jaber said.

Transformation of food systems is also a top priority for the COP28 Presidency – "and we need it to be your priority as well," he told ministers.

COP28 will be the first edition of the conference to explicitly link climate impacts to global health, with a day dedicated to health issues, and the first-ever climate health ministerial in partnership with the World Health Organisation.

Dr. Al Jaber invited all G20 nations to partner on this to ensure the resilience of global health systems.

As part of his visit, he also held strategic bilateral meetings with key environmental and climate ministers to build consensus on the road to COP28.

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