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COP28 President Urges G20 Nations to Lead in Climate Action

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Dr. Sultan Al Jaber
Dr. Sultan Al Jaber

The COP28 Presidency is urging nations to accelerate the implementation of ‘30×30’ – the target to conserve 30 percent of terrestrial and marine habitat by the end of this decade – and is also calling for expansion of the Forest and Climate Leaders Partnership, Dr. Al Jaber said.

“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,” he 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. “Your national adaptation plans and strategies should promote sustainable land use, leverage technologies to increase crop resilience, enhance nutrition and reduce the climate impacts of farming.”

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 Organization.

The President-Designate invited all G20 nations to partner on this to ensure the resilience of global health systems.

The President-Designate reiterated the need to “move the needle on adaptation finance” which is only around 10 percent of that allocated for mitigation.

“Doubling adaptation finance by 2025 is a critical first step but we need to look at directing a solid proportion of all climate finance toward adaptation responses,” he said. “The more that is invested in adaptation, the greater our collective resilience to climate impacts will be.”

Dr. Al Jaber added: “Yet we must acknowledge that many vulnerable countries- in particular small island developing states and least developed countries- are already experiencing consequences of climate change that go beyond what people can adapt to.”

Concluding his remarks Dr Al Jaber said: “Every day we are seeing the human impacts of extreme climate events devastating the lives of ordinary people around the world.

Let us reflect on that as human beings and remember once again why solidarity is so important. I urge you to bring that spirit of solidarity to COP28.”

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

He also met with Akihiro Nishimura, Minister of the Environment (Japan); Marina Silva, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change (Brazil); John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate (United States); Jennifer Morgan, Special Representative for International Climate Policy (Germany); Bhupender Yadav, Union Cabinet Minister of Labour and Employment, Environment, Forest and Climate Change (India).

Dr Sultan’s visit to Chennai and the G20 closely follows his meetings in Bangladesh last week, where he met with Bangladesh Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, and other global leaders to share his core action agenda.

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