Home » COP28 president comes with extensive expertise in climate action

COP28 president comes with extensive expertise in climate action

by Mohammad Ghazal

The UAE has named Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Group CEO of ADNOC, as president of the COP28 climate conference considering his wealth of experience in advancing the country’s position as a global hub for sustainability, green growth, innovation and energy efficiency.

As President-Designate of the global climate talks, to be held in Dubai this year, Dr Al Jaber can help develop the COP28 agenda and play a central role in intergovernmental negotiations to build consensus.

Dr Al Jaber was instrumental in shaping the UAE’s clean energy pathway. The adept policymaker championed a practical and responsible approach to accelerating the energy transition that embraces climate action, energy accessibility, energy security and economic growth.

On the global stage, in his capacity as the UAE’s special envoy for climate change, Dr Al Jaber has repeatedly stressed achieving energy security through renewable energy, underscoring that energy efficiency lies at the core of the UAE’s strategy towards diversifying its energy mix.

Green credentials

In 2006, at the direction of the country’s leadership, Dr Al Jaber helped establish Masdar, the UAE’s renewable energy company, which has since grown to become a global leader in renewable energy and sustainable development. As the founding CEO of Masdar, he has overseen its mandate to accelerate the adoption of renewables within the UAE, across the region and globally. Dr Al Jaber continues to serve as chairman of Masdar, guiding its strategic direction.

In his capacity as Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Dr Al Jaber oversees efforts to further increase industrial competitiveness byleveraging technology as a key enabler, and help drive economic growth by catalysing the diversification of the UAE’s economy.

In November 2020, Dr Al Jaber was appointed as the UAE’s special envoy for climate change, a role he previously served from 2010 to 2016.

Prior to taking on the leadership position at ADNOC, Dr Al Jaber was the Chief Executive Officer of the Energy platform at Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi government’s strategic investment arm. 

In 2009, he led Masdar’s efforts in the UAE’s successful bid to host the headquarters of the “International Renewable Energy Agency” (IRENA). Dr Al Jaber also holds several leadership roles and advisory positions and counsels on issues related to Energy, Economics, Strategic Communications & Sustainable Development. In July 2020, Dr Al Jaber was appointed Chairman of Emirates Development Bank, a key partner in providing financial services for the sustainable economic and social development of the UAE.

Dr Al Jaber previously served on the United Nations Secretary General’s High Level Group on Sustainable Energy for All.

Green accolades

In recognition of his efforts in advocacy and spearheading climate action, Dr Al Jaber has received numerous awards, including the United Nations flagship award “Champion of the Earth” in 2012, given to outstanding visionaries and leaders in the fields of policy, science and entrepreneurship.

In 2013 Dr Al Jaber was appointed an honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

In 2019, Dr Al Jaber received a lifetime achievement award from the prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, for his contributions to energy security, building bridges to emerging Asian economies and for reshaping traditional energy business models.

Diverse leadership team

Al Shamma Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs; and Razan Al Mubarak, president of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), will join Dr Al Jaber’s COP28 UAE team as the youth climate champion and UN climate change high-level champion, respectively.

The appointment of this diverse leadership team for COP28 UAE comes at a pivotal moment, as the world faces increasing climate impact, challenges to energy security, food and water security and reversing biodiversity loss.

Critical decade for climate action

The UAE is the first country in the region to ratify the Paris Agreement, the first to commit to an economy-wide reduction in emissions, and the first to announce a Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative. The UAE is committed to raising ambition in this critical decade for climate action. The UAE is home to three of the largest and lowest-cost solar projects in the world and has invested more than $50 billion in renewable energy projects across 70 countries, with plans to invest a minimum of $50 billion over the next decade.

The announcement of the formation of this team further highlights the UAE’s regional leadership in climate action and its role as a global advocate for clean energy. 

Dr Al Jaber’s extensive experience in energy and climate-related matters bodes well for a successful and fruitful COP28.

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