COP28 President calls on all countries to join Global Cooling Pledge in the lead up to COP28

We cannot expand cooling on a business-as-usual basis. Without strong policy action, emissions from the sector will rise between 7 to 10 percent from today. To solve this dilemma, we need a rapid transition to energy-efficient and climate-friendly cooling: Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber



Speaking on the sidelines of the 14th Clean Energy Ministerial, alongside the G20 Energy Transitions Ministerial Meeting, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and COP28 President-Designate urged countries to join the global cooling pledge, a partnership between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the COP28 Presidency, announced earlier in the year.

Dr. Al Jaber thanked Dan Jergensen, Minister from Denmark and Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of Science and Technology of India for their commitment to being Cool Champions and urged countries to unite and join the pledge.

In close collaboration with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll), the Global Cooling Pledge aims to expand cooling to protect the most vulnerable communities, especially in the global south, Small Island States and Least Developed Countries, from extreme heat, keep food fresh and vaccines safe.

Earlier in July, the COP28 President Designate announced his approach and plan for COP28 based on an ambitious response to the Global Stocktake and based on 4 pillars: Fast Tracking the energy transition, fixing climate finance, focusing on people, lives and livelihoods and underpinning everything with full inclusivity.

The initiative provides incentives to governments and all stakeholders to act on sustainable cooling in five areas: nature-based solutions, super-efficient appliances, food and vaccine cold chains, district cooling, and National Cooling Action Plans.

In his remarks, the COP28 President Designate reiterated his commitment to the Pledge, saying “We cannot expand cooling on a business-as-usual basis. Without strong policy action, emissions from the sector will rise between 7 to 10 percent from today. To solve this dilemma, we need a rapid transition to energy-efficient and climate-friendly cooling.”

He highlighted that the cooling dilemma can provide cooling access to those who need it without undermining the energy transition.

Al Jaber highlighted the plight of the most vulnerable states and cooling as a matter of climate justice, saying: “Food and medicine all depend on cooling. It is a topic of critical importance across climate mitigation and adaptation.”

He added: “Cooling is also a matter of climate justice ─ with heat disproportionately impacting lower-income communities and families.”

“In a warming world, sustainable cooling is critical for reducing GHG emissions, protecting against heat stress, enabling productivity, reducing food loss, and enhancing access to healthcare,”

“We have a unique opportunity to deliver a significant, collective response to the cooling challenge via the Global Cooling Pledge. This pledge aims to improve energy efficiency and increase access to sustainable cooling. It is gaining momentum with more than 20 early supporters ─ including India and Denmark. But there is more to be done. I call on all countries to join the Global Cooling Pledge in the lead up to COP28,” he said.

Following his speech in Brussels last week, he continued to share his core action agenda to fast-track a just energy transition; fix climate finance; focus on people, lives and livelihoods; and underpin everything with full inclusivity.

The President-Designate and the Prime Minister jointly committed to working constructively in the lead up to COP28 to protect the world’s most vulnerable communities. As a former Chair of the V20-CVF countries, a global forum dedicated to support economies systemically vulnerable to climate change, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina pledged to work in partnership with the COP28 President-Designate over the coming months.

Prime Minister Hasina commended the COP28 President-Designate for placing food systems at the heart of climate discussions. They also discussed climate finance, including the need for international financial institutions (IFI) and multilateral development banks (MDB) reform to attract more private finance, the importance of ensuring the $100 billion commitment from donor countries is met and the imperative to operationalise the fund for Loss and Damage.

Dr. Al Jaber acknowledged Prime Minister Hasina’s leadership on food and agriculture innovation and that Bangladesh had been a role model for climate adaptation.

Prime Minister Hasina agreed to champion the food agenda of COP28 and underscored how crucial food systems transformation and agricultural innovation is to sustainable development.

Prime Minister Hasina said, ‘‘I welcome COP28’s focus on lives and livelihoods and putting people at the centre of climate action, in particular the focus on food systems transformation.

“I hope that COP28 will make a realistic assessment of the progress made and close the huge gaps that remain in climate finance and technology transfer.

“As a fellow advocate for the climate vulnerable, I hope that under the strong leadership of Dr Sultan, COP28 will progress operationalising Loss and Damage Fund in line with COP27 agreement.”

The COP28 President-Designate called on Bangladesh to continue sharing its innovative climate solutions, such as renewable energy targets and global preparedness, with other vulnerable countries.

Following the meeting, Dr. Al Jaber said, “Bangladesh is very aware of the urgency of the need to address climate change, as it faces from heatwaves to floods. And while Bangladesh contributes only 0.25 percent of global emissions, the country’s goal of 40 percent clean energy by 2040 shows real leadership.

“I commend the vital work that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has done to advocate for climate vulnerable communities on the international stage and I am delighted to be partnering with the Prime Minister to supercharge climate, social and economic solutions.”

Prime Minister Hasina expressed Bangladesh’s full support for the COP28 Presidency and confidence in the COP28 President Designate as a convenor of the multilateral climate process.

After the meeting, Dr. Al Jaber co-chaired a roundtable on climate action, where he emphasised the need to keep 1.5 within reach. The roundtable was hosted by AK Abdul Momen, Foreign Minister and Md Shahab Uddin, Minister of the Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

During his visit in Dhaka, Dr Al Jaber also met with Saber Hossain Chowdhury, Bangladesh Special Envoy for Climate Change. The COP28 President-Designate met students from Dhaka Residential Model College, where he planted a tree, and commended them on their pioneering work to sustainably increase crop production through the use of microorganisms.

Dr. Al Jaber was then welcomed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by Shahrayar Alam, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs where he delivered a special address to an audience of university students from Dhaka University and met with winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize

Whilst there, he also met with Bangladesh-based COP28 International Climate Youth Delegates, alongside winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, including Dipal Barua, the inaugural winner of the prize, Founder and Chairman of Bright Green Energy Foundation (BGEF), SOLshare and LEDARS Bangladesh.

During his remarks, Dr Al Jaber said, “If we are going to make transformational progress, we need an unconventional approach that includes all sectors of society to work in solidarity on the solutions we need.”

COP28 UAE will take place at Expo City Dubai from 30th November until 12th December, 2023. The Conference is expected to convene over 70,000 participants, including heads of state, government officials, international industry leaders, private sector representatives, academics, experts, youth, and non-state actors.

As mandated by the Paris Climate Agreement, COP28 UAE will deliver the first ever Global Stocktake – a comprehensive evaluation of progress against climate goals.

Source: Hazem Hussein, WAM (Emirates News Agency)

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