Climate transition must be more holistic, says Bill Gates

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - : Leaders of developing nations jumped into Saturday’s second-day of a UN climate summit to press rich industrial countries to share their knowhow to fight global warming and ease the financial burdens they face — while trumpeting their own natural resources that swallow heat-trapping carbon in the air.

The annual United Nations Conference of the Parties, known as COP28, in the UAE featured about 150 presidents, prime ministers, royals and other leaders who are presenting their plans to cut heat-trapping emissions and mostly seek unity with other nations to avert climate catastrophe that seemed to draw closer than ever in 2023.

READ MORE: Click here for our coverage of COP28

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0753 GMT

Andrej Plenkovic, the Prime Minister of Croatia.

“We need to do much more to curb climate change. However, we are doing the opposite. Half of the CO2 emissions emitted in the last two centuries have been emitted in the past three decades, and they continue to grow,” according to Andrej Plenkovic, the Prime Minister of Croatia.

0749 GMT

Kaja Kallas, the Prime Minister of Estonia.

“Today, digital is enabling our green reform. Estonia’s parliament has adopted a new renewable electricity target of 100 percent by 2030. More than tripling our level of renewable production,” according to Kaja Kallas, the Prime Minister of Estonia.

0749 GMT

Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados.

“We’ve seen this year, one third of the days of the year exceed 1.5°C, this is a death sentence. And the reality is, unless we change course, we are going to see far more lives lost and far more damage done,” Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, said in her speech.

0744 GMT

Evariste Ndayishimiye, President of Burundi.

Evariste Ndayishimiye, President of Burundi, in his country statement, said “Burundi has committed via the Nationally Determined Contributions to protect the environment, to strengthen resilience towards climate change, and to boost food security. This is infused in our national policies and our vision for Burundi. An emerging country by 2040, and a developed country by 2060.”

0733 GMT

Kausea Natano, Prime Minister of Tuvalu.

“Though I applaud the current status of loss and damage (fund) and the inflow of funding supports, it is our hope that the challenge on the accessibility to the fund is limited or is eliminated,” said Kausea Natano, Prime Minister of Tuvalu, in his statement.

0724 GMT

Joao Manuel Goncalves Lourenco, President of Angola.

“Tackling the issue of climate change is one of the key priorities in all sustainable development programs and strategies in the Republic of Angola. It is a critical concern and one that deserves special attention,” Joao Manuel Goncalves Lourenco, President of Angola, said.

“We are committed to changing our national energy matrix prioritizing clean energy production sources and we’re doing this through the construction of hydroelectric plants and solar panels parks, which means that more than 65 percent of the current 6,400 MW of energy produced in the country now come from ecological sources.”

0717 GMT

David Choquehuanca Cespedes, Vice President of Bolivia.

“Developing countries have prepared a broad path for developed countries who rely on our resources and yet trample all over us and do not allow us to tread the path with them,” David Choquehuanca Cespedes, Vice President of Bolivia, said in his statement.

“There can be no climate justice climatic without understanding genuine life sciences. There can be no climate justice without recognizing that human intelligence is what is important not artificial intelligence.”

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Over 110 countries set to join COP28 deal to triple renewable energy

A pledge to triple the world’s installed renewable energy by 2030 is poised to win support from more than 110 countries at the COP28 climate summit on Saturday, with some pushing to make the deal global by the end of the UN conference.

The European Union, United States and COP28 host the UAE have been rallying support for the pledge as a means to the sharp drop in planet-warming emissions needed this decade to avoid unleashing more severe climate change.

Whether governments and companies will rally the huge investments needed to hit the goal is an open question. While deployment of renewables like solar and wind has been surging globally for years, rising costs, labor constraints and supply chain issues have forced project delays and cancellations in recent months.

Getting the deal into the final UN climate summit decision would also require consensus among the nearly 200 countries present. While China and India have signaled support for tripling global renewable energy by 2030, neither has confirmed it will back the overall pledge – which pairs the ramp-up in clean power with a reduction in fossil fuel use. – Reuters

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0708 GMT

Olaf Scholz, the Chancellor of Germany.

“It is still possible for us to reduce emissions this decade and for us to reach a level that would allow us to achieve the 1.5°C goal, however, science tells us that we need to step up the pace,” according to Olaf Scholz, the Chancellor of Germany.

“I would like to present the following three proposals for you today. First, let us make the expansion of renewables our number one priority in energy policy globally. Let us agree on two binding targets here in Dubai, tripling the expansion of renewables and doubling energy efficiency, both by 2030.”

“As long as we still have to rely on gas, we have to ensure that we produce and transport it in as climate friendly as possible.”

“My second point concerns our international cooperation. We need forms in which to develop common solutions for the challenges of transformation.”

“My third proposal concerns solidarity and responsibility. Already in the year 2022, Germany has surpassed its objective of making available €6 billion ($6.5 billion) per annum for international climate finance.”

“I’m also confident that we will also achieve our goal of making available $100 billion per annum for international climate action together with other industrialized countries.”

0658 GMT

Mohammed B. S Jallow, Vice President of Gambia.

“We recognize that transitioning to a low carbon sustainable economy is not only an environmental imperative but also an economic opportunity; therefore, we are still committed to promoting the use of green and clean energy, sustainable agriculture, and eco-friendly technologies,” Mohammed B. S Jallow, Vice President of Gambia, said in his speech.

“This transition will not only reduce our carbon footprint but also create jobs stimulate innovation and improve the quality of our life of our citizens.”

0651 GMT

Mokgweetsi Eric Masisi, President of Botswana.

“The government of Botswana has made a decision to increase renewable energy penetration from two percent to 30 percent by 2030,” according to Mokgweetsi Eric Masisi, President of Botswana.

“As a developing country, Botswana prioritizes adaptation as it reduces the vulnerability of communities to climate related hazards and in so doing protecting livelihoods and ecosystems as well as enabling them to be more resilient.”

0643 GMT

Chandrikapersad Santokhi, President of Suriname.

“As part of the eight Amazonian countries united in the Amazon corporation treaty organization, we are also committed to fight deforestation of the Amazon region. My country and people are forced to adapt to extreme dry and wet weather events which cause losses and damages,” Chandrikapersad Santokhi, President of Suriname, said in his national statement.

“At the same time, we must respond to the legitimate demands of our population for economic development and diversification as we do through a balanced approach consisting of developing the natural resources through environment-friendly strategy by sustainable forest management and active protection of biodiversity and also by continued transition to green energy and other green innovations and technologies.”

0633 GMT

Faustin-Archange Touadera, President of the Central African Republic.

“Africa which bears least responsibility in terms of emissions, responsible for just four percent of global emissions, but unfortunately, Africa is a primary victim of the direct impacts of climate change,” according to Faustin-Archange Touadera, President of the Central African Republic.

“Central African Republic has been classed among the five countries which are most threatened by the effects of climate change.”

“When it comes to determining who should pay for the climate bill, the answer is, bearing in mind the gap between developed countries which are the primary polluters and poor countries, it would be logical for the former to finance the mitigation process.”

0617 GMT

Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of South Sudan.

“For four years now, the country is suffering from floods, droughts, excessive heat high temperatures, and irregular rain patterns. These climate change related factors have negatively affected the livelihood of our people the people are internally displaced,” Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of South Sudan said in his national statement speech.

“That is causing subnational conflicts between the displaced and host communities. So, peace and security are clearly affected as a result of climate change.”

“We have come to this COP28 with the hope that we, the world leaders, will commit ourselves to the implementation of the provisions of the Paris Agreement.”

“Climate change financing to the less developed countries is very important so that these countries can implement their climate adaptation and mitigation projects,” he added.

0605 GMT

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana.

“We are all now aware that climate change has an enormous impact on the fundamentals required for our survival on earth. It imposes developmental constraints and burdens on are already stretched resources and we, in Ghana are witnessing this phenomenon for ourselves at first hand,” said Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana.

“A few weeks ago parts of my country Ghana were confronted with the severe humanitarian crisis triggered by the spillage of water from our country’s largest hydroelectric dam due to unusually high rainfall patterns.”

“We encourage our international partners to support the V20 loss and damage fund, the global shield against climate risk, and ultimately the UNFCCC loss and damage fund to ensure the availability of robust social safety nets for the developing world during such climate crisis.”

0551 GMT

Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea.

“Africa is one of the regions with the highest rates of carbon capture and oxygen release in the world; yet, paradoxically we are the region which draws the least benefits,” according to Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea.

“In light of that it’s not enough, in our view, for developed countries to simply wring their hands and make empty promises. Rather, they need to fulfill their commitments and obligations under the Paris agreement that we achieved at COP21 and ensure the rollout and implementation of tangible concrete action to mitigate the adverse impact of climate change.”

“We issue an urgent call for renewed commitment at COP28 to provide Africa with adequate transparent and just financing going forward as well as ensuring the requisite transfer of technology.”

Mbasogo faulted developed nations for failing to deliver on their pledges to meet their commitments on financing for climate action and meet their own targets to curb their industries’ emissions.

“Africa is one of the regions in the world that sequesters the most carbon and emits oxygen,” he said.

0544 GMT

Jose Ramos Horta, President of Timor-Leste.

“I urge the WHO to declare a public health emergency of international concern, the highest level of emergency that can be declared by WHO,” Jose Ramos Horta, President of Timor-Leste, said in his speech.

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The Israel-Hamas conflict also loomed large in the proceedings with several leaders voicing sympathy for the Palestinians in Gaza as the week-long ceasefire ended, and vigorous efforts to extend the truce collapsed.

Israel bombarded eastern areas of Khan Younis in southern Gaza right after the truce ended.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II speaks during the High-Level Segment for Heads of State and Government session at the United Nations climate summit in Dubai on Dec. 1, 2023. (AFP)

“This year’s conference of the parties must recognize even more than ever that we cannot talk about climate change in isolation from the humanitarian tragedies unfolding around us,” King Abdullah II of Jordan said in his speech.

“As we speak, the Palestinian people are facing an immediate threat to their lives and wellbeing. In Gaza over 1.7 million Palestinians have been displaced from their homes. Tens of thousands have been injured or killed in a region already on the front line of the climate change.”

 

 

The high-level session was also a day of financial commitments, with host country UAE announcing the establishment of ALTÉRRA, the largest private climate vehicle, and a $30 billion commitment to the vehicle with the aim of mobilizing $250 billion of private-sector investment by 2030.

with agencies

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