Adaptation front and center of Climate agenda, Says COP28 President at MENA Climate Week

RIYADH, 8th October, 2023 (WAM) -- Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 President, delivered a formal address at the opening ceremony for MENA Climate Week today, where he called on nations in the region to expand on their legacy of climate leadership to drive inclusive progress ahead of COP28.
Regional wind and solar investments have grown over four times in the past decade, and will double again in the next five years, while the region is also the world’s leading producer of clean hydrogen, Dr. Al Jaber told delegates at the event in Riyadh.

He also cited the success of the Saudi and Middle East Green Initiative in driving investment in both mitigation and adaptation measures.
“I am filled with confidence that this region has the leadership, the vision and the capacity to shape a better future, not just for the Middle East and North Africa, but for the entire world,” the President said. “Over the course of my lifetime, I have seen first-hand the transformative abilities of our region. I have experienced our resilience in the face of global events and climate change. And I can tell you that the track record, actions and political will of the UAE leadership and the COP28 team’s determination to build a better future is absolutely unwavering.”
“With just 53 days to go before COP28, I am determined to rally the world behind an ambitious and comprehensive climate agenda,” Dr. Al Jaber declared. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have had 27 COPs, and you might be surprised to learn that 17 of them have been hosted in fossil fuel producing nations. The fact is, energy is fundamental to everyone, everywhere. And figuring out a fair, just, equitable and well managed energy transition is essential for economic and climate progress”, added Dr. Al Jaber
The President reiterated that global renewable energy capacity needs to triple and energy efficiency double by 2030 – “and I am pleased that 85 per cent of the world’s economies, including the G20 have endorsed this goal.,” he said.
On his call for oil & gas companies to align around net zero by or before 2050, zero out methane emissions, and eliminate routine flaring by 2030, he said “over 20 companies have stepped up, and I’m pushing everyone to get on board by COP28.”
"This region has the resources, the leadership and the experience to create a climate positive future of new industries, new technologies, new jobs and new hope,” the President said. “Let’s apply our capacities, our capital, our know-how and scale to deliver positive outcomes,” he added.
Following the opening ceremony, the President participated in two high-level sessions: a regional dialogue on the global stocktake, in which policymakers and other key stakeholders, discussed regional perspectives on the progress of the stocktake, and a GCC Ministerial meeting, where Dr. Al Jaber highlighted the role of COP28 in positioning the region as a climate leader and the importance of the region’s support in delivering tangible climate action.
Dr. Al Jaber also had discussions with key attendees at MENA Climate Week, including with H.R.H Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, Jassem AlBudaiwi, Secretary General of the GCC, Ajay Banga, President of the World Bank, Borge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum, Jim Skea, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Ahmad Aslam, Minister for Climate Change and Environmental Coordination of Pakistan, and Saad Nasser Al Barrak, Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Oil.
Taking place in Riyadh this week and hosted by the Government of Saudi Arabia, MENA Climate Week is one of four regional events being held this year to build momentum ahead of COP28 and the conclusion of the first global stocktake.