Home » COP28 President receives inaugural ‘Global Energy Transition Impact Award’ from World Energy Council

COP28 President receives inaugural ‘Global Energy Transition Impact Award’ from World Energy Council

by Hadeer Elhadary

COP28 President HE Dr. Sultan Al Jaber has been awarded by the World Energy Council for his leadership in advancing the energy transition through the delivery of the historic UAE Consensus, it has been announced. 

HE Dr. Al Jaber received the ‘Global Energy Transition Impact Award’– one of four inaugural World Energy Leadership Awards – at the Council’s Centennial Dinner, ahead of today’s World Energy Congress. 

The award was given in honour of his work on the UAE Consensus and for launching Net Zero energy transition alliances across multiple energy sectors.

In his acceptance speech, the COP28 President said the award is a recognition of the vision and commitment of the UAE’s leadership in promoting a responsible energy transition: “They rallied the world around climate change, and they were instrumental in achieving the UAE Consensus,” he said.

“We are delighted to bestow the inaugural Global Energy Transition Impact Award to H.E. Dr Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber for achieving a historic COP28 agreement known as the UAE Consensus, and for the added achievements of launching Net Zero energy transition alliances involving multiple energy sectors,” said Dr. Angela Wilkinson, Secretary General and CEO of the World Energy Council. 

“His personal commitment and persistence have set a new direction in world energy towards accelerating decarbonization with justice and resilience, leaving a lasting and positive impact on both society and the environment.”

Since COP28, the UAE Consensus has been called a defining point of reference for global climate action, aimed at giving direction to countries on how to keep 1.5°C within reach, transforming agreements into tangible outcomes, and ensuring global implementation.

The agreement was “a truly historic moment for climate diplomacy,” HE Dr. Al Jaber told delegates, delivering a series of “firsts” – including a commitment from all Parties to transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly and equitable manner, time-bound targets to triple global renewable energy capacity, and being the first COP to proactively engage industry, particularly the oil and gas sector.

At a time of geopolitical tension, COP28 set a new standard for inclusivity, the President said. 

“We moved the world beyond self-interest for the common good and we set clear direction, guided by the science, for keeping our North Star of 1.5°C within reach. We now need to show that same solidarity in turning an unprecedented agreement into unprecedented action.”

With this year’s Congress marking 100 years since the first World Energy event, HE Dr. Al Jaber highlighted that the global energy mix has already seen considerable change, with wind and solar energy seeing an eight-fold expansion.

“The UAE has been at the forefront of this growth,” said HE Dr. Al Jaber.  

“In fact, if you sail from here into the North Sea, you will meet a white wall of windmills that the UAE, through Masdar, has invested in. Projects like the London Array, Dudgeon, Dogger Bank and Baltic Eagle are helping make Europe a world leader in wind power.”

Even so, hydrocarbons still represent 80 per cent of today’s energy mix, he noted, and with energy demand set to grow by almost a quarter in the next two decades, the world will need to replace the daily equivalent of over 270 million barrels of oil, gas and coal.

“This is a massive political, social, economic, technological and engineering challenges at the same time,” Dr. Al Jaber said. “And every stakeholder has a critical role to play.”

The President reiterated calls for countries to adopt comprehensive, economy-wide emission-reduction targets in their upcoming Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and for industries to collaborate on decarbonising both the demand and supply side of the current energy system.

“Tripling renewable energy capacity is just the beginning,” Dr. Al Jaber noted. “We also need to expand nuclear, hydrogen, geothermal and other zero-carbon energies yet to be discovered or deployed.”

The President also highlighted the need to maximise efficiency across the energy value chain, outlining that the adoption of emerging technologies – especially artificial intelligence – will “make a game-changing difference.” 

Further, Dr. Al Jaber called for an “integrated approach” to the energy transition, connecting “the biggest industrial consumers with the biggest producers, technology companies, the financial community, civil society and policy makers,” he said.

“COP28 was a turning point in history,” Dr. Al Jaber said. “It was the moment that the world got serious about the energy transition and got real about what the transition will actually take.”

According to HE Dr Al Jaber, the energy transition will “take time,” and it happen in ” different places at different paces.”

“We cannot simply unplug the current energy system before the new one is built.”

“That said, if we make the right investments, we can launch new industries, new jobs and a new low carbon economic pathway,” the COP28 President said in his concluding remarks, and called on all stakeholders, government, private and civil society to unite around action that delivers real results.

“Action that follows the science to keep 1.5°C within reach. And action that advances human progress.”


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