Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and COP28 President-Designate, has emphasized the crucial role of Caribbean nations in aligning support for climate action at COP28.
In an address to the Conference of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in Trinidad and Tobago, he said that old models must be challenged to ensure that climate diplomacy delivers results for Caribbean nations.
“At COP28, the Caribbean region will have a critical role in bringing countries together and contributing to a consensus-driven approach across every climate pillar,” Dr. Al Jaber told delegates. “The Caribbean community, with CARICOM as its unifying voice, can help marshal support for ambitious negotiated outcomes and a transformative action agenda. Working in solidarity, we can deliver a just energy transition that embraces clean technologies, without sacrificing energy security or national prosperity.”
The COP28 President-Designate paid tribute to the work of Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, in driving climate finance reform for vulnerable countries across the Global South.
“As Prime Minister Mottley said in Paris, the world must now bring pace and scope to the climate challenge,” he said. “We need transformational progress, not incremental steps. And we need to challenge old models of doing things if we want different results.”
With just seven years to go to achieve the Paris Agreement goals, “we need to shift gears across mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, and of course climate finance,” Dr. Al Jaber stated.
“We must fast-track a just and equitable energy transition that leaves no one behind, triple renewable energy capacity and double hydrogen production. We must protect nature, enhance food and health systems and upgrade adaptation responses.”
Doing the latter will require “delivering the global goal on adaptation and doubling adaptation finance,” the President-Designate said. “Finance underpins everything. It is essential, of course for the fund and funding arrangements for loss and damage. And this COP will continue to put finance and IFI (International Financial Institution) reform at the top of the international agenda.”
The President-Designate said, “we need to keep the pressure on donor countries to deliver the $100 billion pledge that they made over a decade ago. This must be finalised this year, so that we can tackle a broader systematic issue.”
“The current international financial architecture is not fit for purpose,” he stated. “Climate finance is nowhere near available, accessible or affordable enough. MDBs (Multilateral Development Banks) are not supplying sufficient concessional funds that can lower risk and attract much more private capital and finance.”
“This must change, and we need to bring everyone to the table from across the financial community, using every tool available, to take a holistic approach to a global challenge,” Dr. Al Jaber concluded.