Get Free COP28 Updates
We will send you a myFT Daily Digest Latest email summary COP28 news every morning.
The United Arab Emirates, host of the upcoming UN climate summit, is expected to outline its agenda for COP28 at a ministerial meeting in Brussels. this week after a cautious update of their own emissions targets.
The oil nation pledged to cut emissions by 19% in absolute terms from 2019 levels in the third update to its pledge under the Paris agreement to limit global warming.
The UAE marked during COP27 in Egypt last November that a new target of cutting emissions by 18% by 2030 would be included in the next UN submission this year.
COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber, who is also the head of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, is expected to lay out his priorities at this week’s meeting attended by ministers and delegates. High-level representatives from more than 30 countries, including the G20.
The annual Climate Action Ministerial Conference is a forum to discuss the implementation of the Paris agreement to limit global warming and the adoption of technical rules within the framework of the United Nations.
In recent speeches, Al Jaber highlighted the need to triple renewable energy capacity, increase energy efficiency and boost hydrogen production, as well as cut methane emissions. by 2030. But he avoided giving a timeline for the phasing or phasing out of fossil fuels that the United Nations science agency has said is necessary.
Mariam Almheiri, the United Arab Emirates’ minister of environment and climate change, on Tuesday said an update to the country’s own nationally determined contributions (NDCs) – commitments that countries make under the Paris agreement – will be consistent with the goal of curbing temperature rise to 2C above pre-industrial levels.
The Paris Agreement ideally aims to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5C. This requires a 43 percent cut in global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
“I hope we can really push the ambition further, but right now we’re two degrees below the threshold,” Almheiri told reporters in Dubai.
The minister said the roadmap seeks to achieve a 40% reduction in emissions by 2030 when compared to a “business as usual” scenario whereby some action or limited action is taken to address the problem. climate change decisions.
The previous economy-wide emission reduction target of 31% by 2030 would result in more than three times the emissions of 1990 levels and was deemed “insufficient” by the independent research group Climate Action Tracker.
When compared with the UAE’s “fair share”, which considers issues such as historic responsibility for climate change and the ability to cut emissions, this target is “not severe enough”, the group said. know in his final assessment.
“Now with this update we hope to get closer to version 1.5[C] genre,” said Almheiri. “So if we stay close to [sufficient category] this would be good, but we cannot judge this, as they are completely independent.”
The Climate Action Monitor said on Tuesday that it has yet to review the UAE’s latest pledge.
However, Alex Armstrong from Mighty Earth, a non-profit campaign group, said the UAE’s goals are not ambitious enough and fall outside of what is needed to meet the Paris agreement.
“As the host of COP28 later this year, it is imperative for the UAE to demonstrate global climate leadership,” he said. “However, its revised NDC shows only an absolute emission reduction of 19% by the end of this important decade of action. The reality is that to keep temperatures within 1.5 degrees Celsius, we need countries to cut emissions by 43 percent by 2030 under the Paris agreement.”
Mark Campanale of the Carbon Tracking Initiative think tank says the UAE has a “very short time” in its carbon budget remaining at “less than 2 degrees” to diversify its economy away from recession. dependent on oil and gas.
“It is important” that the COP28 host country come up with a central reference for its own new fossil fuel production plans and link those plans to the remaining global carbon budget, he said. .
Minister Almheiri said the new commitment would build on the UAE’s updated national energy strategy for 2050, which includes tripling investment in renewable energy capacity over the next seven years and increase the share of clean energy in the overall mix to 30% by 2030.
Where climate change meets business, markets and politics. Explore FT coverage here.
Curious about the FT’s environmental sustainability commitments? Learn more about our science-based goals here