Environmental leaders emphasize that Cop28 must deliver real action on climate change in order for the world to address the pressing issue of rising global temperatures.
Following the fourth warmest April on record, according to scientists from the World Meteorological Organization, the planet is rapidly approaching the critical global-warming threshold of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
Rectifying decades of mismanagement of the natural world is essential to tackle the associated challenges of a warming planet and its impacts. However, there is cause for optimism, according to Razan Al Mubarak, Managing Director of the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi and President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Al Mubarak expressed her optimism during The National’s Connectivity Forum, highlighting the significance of the UAE hosting Cop28 and bringing together diverse perspectives.
“For many of us who work in conservation, climate change is the result of nature being mismanaged,” Al Mubarak stated. “As a practitioner, I also see how nature can respond and heal. If you leave it alone, it will heal; if you help it, it will thrive.”
She emphasized the importance of addressing climate change urgently and collectively, expressing hope for success at Cop28 in moving forward with climate action.
In the face of increasing extreme weather events and global socio-economic challenges caused by climate change, innovation is expected to play a pivotal role in creating a more stable environment.
As a young nation with a youthful population, the UAE, along with other countries in the region, is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. With Cop28 serving as a platform for meaningful discussions and tangible action, the UAE has a unique opportunity to drive significant change.
Al Mubarak, who is also the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for Cop28, emphasized the UAE’s geopolitical positioning and its potential to convene and lead beyond the conference.
“We can look at what is required. Those requirements are complex but clear,” Al Mubarak explained. “We need to collectively, globally, reduce our emissions. There are things we can do now and there are things we can invest in for the future.”
She highlighted the declining cost of renewable energy and the availability of nature-based solutions as crucial elements in the fight against climate change. Al Mubarak stressed that ignoring the issue is no longer an option.
With the urgent need for action, Cop28 presents a vital opportunity to chart a collective path forward in addressing climate change and securing a sustainable future.