Dubai participates in the COP26 Climate Summit

DUBAI, A Dubai led delegation participated in the 26th session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) held in Glasgow, Scotland, from 31 October to 12 November, headed by Abdulla Mohammed Al Basti, Secretary-General of The Executive Council of Dubai and Vice Chairman of the Steering Committee of the C40 Cities Network for South and West Asia.

The conference comprised several events aimed at exploring the challenges of climate change and uncovering solutions to reduce the impact of the current climate crisis. The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), which takes place on a yearly basis, brings together world leaders and Heads of States and Governments, alongside international organisations and business leaders to develop a global agenda devoted to tackling climate change. The conference examines pressing decisions and global agreements by countries to reduce emissions and enhance adaptation, and discusses options and targets for climate financing.

Al Basti stressed that the UAE winning the bid to host the global climate summit COP 28 in 2023 reflects the country’s efforts to embed sustainable development as a key principle by investing in green infrastructure and supporting the growth of green economic activities. This achievement comes as a result of the successful initiatives put in place in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE; His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

The vision set for the UAE has allowed it to achieve significant strides in clean energy and wastewater treatment infrastructure. The country is currently supporting the establishment of a strong circular economy ecosystem, which will bolster its efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. In this context, Al Basti pointed out that Dubai is successfully shaping the green finance agenda, alongside the C40 Network of Leading Cities in Climate Change, following the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai.

He stated: “Tackling climate change is a key priority of ours and is crucial to achieving a safer and more sustainable future for all. For years, Dubai has been shifting towards alternative energy and promoting the concept of sustainability across all sectors through pioneering initiatives and projects in the field of environmental protection, local resource management, and green investment.”

He underlined the role that Dubai has played on a global level, to promote a sustainable and green economy through the production of clean energy, as part of which the emirate has implemented numerous initiatives. These have included the utilisation of concentrated solar panels and photovoltaic panels for solar energy production; generation of green hydrogen using solar energy; the development of the hydroelectric plant project in Hatta using clean energy; in addition to optimising the use of treated water for irrigation and cooling; and concerted efforts to reduce demand for energy and water in all sectors of the emirate through building standards and extensive retrofitting activities.

As part of its role as member of the steering committee of the C40 Leadership Group, Dubai led an effort to identify the main challenges and priorities for “climate budgeting” for the C40 cities. This effort came in response to the rising challenges of financing climate change at a city level and the urgent need to mitigate the negative impact it is already having on the global community. Dubai’s work on the topic alongside C40’s team consisted of mapping existing practices followed by focused interactive workshops with the C40 member cities. The workshops comprised of a review of the outputs of the analysis of studied by teams from the Government of Dubai on the challenges and enablers of climate finance in cities, in addition to deep dives into best practices from the cities of Oslo in Norway, Paris in France, Tshwane in South Africa and Montreal in Canada which have established successful climate budgeting models. The workshops also included surveys to map the individual challenges and priorities of the participating cities with regard to mainstreaming climate finance at the city level.

During a focused session held at the Glasgow Climate Summit with a number of mayors of leading cities in climate action and officials from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Secretary General of The Executive Council of Dubai highlighted the need to provide additional support for network cities specifically to enhance their capabilities to develop climate action programmes and initiatives that meet the requirements of international funders, in addition to training local financial authorities on understanding climate action and what it means for city operations and capital investments.

He also referred to challenges that relate to financing adaptation to climate change, stressing that current funding only represents 20% of the total amount required to protect societies from the expected climate change impacts on the global community.

Dubai joined the C40 global network in 2015, as part of its commitment to address climate change and join efforts with leading cities to scale up climate action. Founded in 2005, the network currently includes 96 megacities that have been working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance climate action by sharing knowledge and best practices.

Dubai’s efforts will allow the emirate to play a key role in supporting the UAE’s roadmap to reaching net zero carbon by 2050, a commitment the country announced weeks prior to COP26.

Source: Emirates News Agency

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