“The UAE’s role in hosting COP 28 and accelerating global climate action”

2023-05-26 17:02:22

Diplomats and observers relied on the role of the UAE in hosting the upcoming climate summit, “COP 28” at the end of this year, in giving a great impetus to climate action, and obliging countries to implement international commitments to confront climate changes that have become a threat to the whole world.

This comes at a time when diplomats and specialists in the field of climate action expressed the UAE’s support for hosting “Cop 28”, in response to voices that tried to disrupt the next version of the world’s largest climate event..

The UAE chose Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of ADNOC, to chair the twenty-eighth session of the Conference of the Parties on Climate Change “COP28”.

Accelerated steps

In an interview with Sky News Arabia, Paul Sullivan, a prominent economic analyst and non-resident fellow at the Global Energy Center of the Atlantic Council, considered that “the UAE is taking many accelerated steps in the field of climate action and facing the climate change crisis.”

Sullivan stressed that these efforts are “not new, but for many years,” pointing to a number of points regarding the role played by the UAE during hosting the Climate Summit late this year, saying::

  • “The UAE is a developed country, especially in the climate and energy files, and it seeks to quickly reach the goals.”
  • “Al-Jaber worked on energy and environmental issues, he is a true professional and he also has an excellent staff to brief him on the situation when needed.”
  • “The UAE has been working on renewable energy and climate issues for a long time, and this is nothing new for it, as it has proven its worth in organizing international meetings.”“.
  • “I hope that the UAE’s highest hopes are to reach some applicable solutions and agreements during the upcoming climate summit, but the nature of climate conferences and discussions does not make this easy.”“.
  • “There must be a focus on an agreement between the major countries that caused the emissions crisis, before heading to agreements with others.”.
  • “I am sure that officials in the UAE are aware of the structural problems of decisions in the COP, but they are working to solve them“.

The US Special Envoy for Climate Affairs, John Kerry, praised the selection of Al-Jaber as President of the Conference of the Parties, “COP 28”, describing him as a “good choice.”.

The Mayor of the City of London, Nicholas Lyons, said he believes the COP28 summit “will be a fantastic edition”, praising the amazingly methodical manner in which the UAE has moved to host the event..

A boost for climate action

In the same context, Italian Strategic Adviser Daniele Rovinetti told Sky News Arabia that the organization of the Climate Summit “reflects two types of interests and activities that the UAE has within the climate change file.”


  • First: From a technical point of view, Abu Dhabi has the technical expertise, economic capacity, and political will to become a leader in energy transition. It can also play an important role in developing clean energies, such as green hydrogen, for example..
  • “Second: The matter has political dimensions, with the UAE asserting its independent position in international affairs, and the ability to do so through the issues of the climate conference. Abu Dhabi can also achieve a double level of gains.”.
  • “The climate summit enhances the status of the UAE and centralizes its role, making it move prominently in the global arena.”.

A leading international role

As the American expert specializing in international affairs and strategy, Irina Zuckerman, told Sky News Arabia, “The UAE’s hosting of the conference prompts it to play a major international role in one of the most important global issues and top priorities for many countries at the present time.”.

Tuskerman stressed that the climate summit “will allow the UAE to display its special capabilities and commitments to action and participation, and to build new and advanced regional and international alliances on the basis of this issue.”.

Choosing the UAE to host the United Nations Climate Conference “COP 28”

The American expert considered that the UAE can give a strong impetus to climate action through a number of axes, including::

  • “The UAE has the opportunity to be a bridge between the countries formerly known as the (Global South) and the West, and also emphasizes integration in the Middle East and an increasing leadership role in issues of energy, climate and the global economy.”.
  • “The climate conference brings together 3 main concerns of the global community, which are environmental impact, energy security, and economic impact on various segments of the population.”.
  • “The UAE has the credibility to address the complexities of these discussions, especially with Al Jaber, who has an extensive background in energy and can work to bring together various energy leaders to work together, for a successful transition to renewable energy.”.

new model

On the other hand, the former Indian ambassador to the UAE and colleague at the Observer Research Foundation, Navdeep Singh Suri, criticized the opposition of some Western voices to the steps taken by the country in the midst of preparing to host the climate summit.

He said that “the lofty ‘we know what’s best for you’ approach lingers in the scattered Western heartlands.”.

The former Indian diplomat stated in an article published by the newspaper “The National”, that “the UAE has shown that it can use its oil wealth to create a new model, which is (an oil-rich country that hosts the International Renewable Energy Agency), and built the first nuclear power plant in the Middle East, and established an organization such as (Masdar) to invest in renewable energy projects in 40 countries.

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