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COP28's first week outcomes demonstrate how consensus is carrying us forward: COP28 Director-General

Middle East | December 8, 2023 11:50:57 PM IST
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Abu Dhabi [UAE], December 8 (ANI/WAM): Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, COP28 Director-General and Special Representative, affirmed that the second half of our Action Agenda programme, which begins with youth engagement and education, testifies to their key role in climate action.

During a press conference held today in the Green Zone of the 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28), Al Suwaidi recapped a selection of the achievements that we saw over the first half of COP28, noting that they "demonstrate how the spirit of consensus is carrying us forward."

"In total, the COP Presidency has mobilised over USD 83 billion, setting the pace for a new era in climate action and making a real difference to people, lives, and livelihoods. We facilitated a historic agreement to operationalize a fund for climate impact response on day one, and since then we have seen pledges for the fund and funding arrangements of more than USD 720 million. And, with a strong emphasis on private capital, we launched ALTERRA, a USD 30 billion catalytic fund, and unlocked USD 200 million for SDRs," he continued.

He also highlighted the World Bank's announcement of an increase of USD 9 billion annually to finance climate-related projects, and announcements of other Multilateral Development Banks that constitute a cumulative increase of over USD 22.6 billion toward climate action.

"We saw a USD 3.5-billion-dollar of additional replenishment into the Green Climate Fund and announced USD 133.6 million toward the Adaptation Fund," he further added. "We also achieved historic and transformational support for 11 new pledges and declarations, including the first-ever declaration on food systems transformation and health, plus declarations on renewable energy and efficiency, and decarbonising heavy emitting industries."

"As we have said from the start, we are doing things differently in Dubai. We are setting out to make COP28 the collective COP - the COP that brought everyone to the table in order to change the game, and that includes young people," the COP28 Director-General and Special Representative went on to say.

"Youth empowerment is engrained in our culture here in the UAE, and it is something we are immensely proud of...and something that we want to embed in the COP process," underscoring the fact that Shamma bint Suhail Al Mazrouei was the youngest minister of the country in the world when she was first appointed, and is now COP's first Youth Climate Champion.

"We are calling for this role to be institutionalised in future COPs," he stressed. "Ultimately, it is young people who have the most to lose from climate change, and it is future generations who will inherit some of the greatest challenges, which is why they need to be wholly integrated into the process - they need to be educated, informed, and empowered. They need to set the policy.

"As soon as we took on the COP28 presidency, the UAE was determined to make this COP the turnaround COP for youth engagement.

And that is exactly what we have done. We partnered with YOUNGO to provide unprecedented support to the largest-ever youth climate delegate program focused on LDCs and SIDS. And many of the youth climate delegates are now offering valuable contributions to help shape the decision resulting from COP28.

"Today, we will see the inaugural Youth Stocktake Report, a comprehensive analysis of youth involvement in climate diplomacy that will present best practices and a strategic blueprint to enhance youth participation. We are also hosting the Green Skills Fair, the Dubai Dialogue, and the RewirEd Summit, all designed to mainstream youth inclusion."

He addressed young people as he urged them to play an active role, noting that the UAE's negotiations team comprises more than two-thirds of people under 35.

"We understand the enormous potential and power of youth, and we encourage each of you to contribute to an ambitious decision - not only for this COP but to lay the foundation for the multilateral process going forward," he said in conclusion. (ANI/WAM)