Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and President-Designate of COP28, underscored the imperative need for the international community to address the vital intersection of climate change and health. Speaking at the UN General Assembly and Climate Week NYC, alongside Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), and Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of Malawi, Dr. Al Jaber emphasized the necessity of placing health at the core of climate diplomacy and mobilizing investment for equitable, climate-resilient healthcare systems during COP28.
Dr. Al Jaber stated, “The connection between health and climate change is unmistakable, yet it has not been a specific focus of the COP process—until now. This must change.”
Climate health holds a pivotal role in the COP28 Presidency’s Action Agenda, particularly under the pillar emphasizing lives and livelihoods. COP28 will host the inaugural Health Day and climate-health ministerial at a COP, co-hosted by WHO and several nations.
Dr. Al Jaber also engaged with leaders such as William Ruto, President of Kenya, Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock, and various officials to explore pathways toward achieving desired outcomes during COP28.
These discussions occurred within the context of the COP28 Presidency’s participation in the UN General Assembly and “Climate Week NYC” in New York. Accompanied by the broader COP28 Presidency team, including Shamma Al Mazrui, Minister of Community Development and Youth Climate Champion for COP28, Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion of the COP28 Presidency, and Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, COP28 Director-General, Dr. Al Jaber showcased and discussed the COP28 Action Agenda with members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
Dr. Al Jaber expressed gratitude to the country champions, including Brazil, the UK, the USA, the Netherlands, Kenya, Fiji, India, Egypt, Sierra Leone, and Germany, for their leadership in advancing climate health discussions at COP28.
Adnan Amin, COP28 CEO, also emphasized the importance of health in the COP28 agenda during a fireside chat moderated by Dr. Vanessa Kerry, WHO Special Envoy for Climate Change and Health.
Dr. Al Jaber conducted further consultations and discussions with global leaders in New York to build momentum and consensus around the Presidency’s Action Agenda. The four key pillars of the Action Agenda include expediting a just and orderly energy transition, resolving climate finance issues, prioritizing people, lives, and livelihoods, and ensuring complete inclusivity in all endeavors.
COP28 Director-General, Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, addressed the MIT Solve Challenges finals on funding and scaling up climate technologies. This event brought together global investors, philanthropists, and other leaders to unveil promising tech-based solutions to the climate crisis.
Al Suwaidi also spoke to global CEOs as part of the Sustainable Markets Initiative on the private sector’s role in addressing climate change. This Initiative, launched by King Charles III in 2020, assembles global leaders to promote a sustainable energy transition. In both events, Al Suwaidi emphasized the importance of private sector innovation, investment, and engagement in COP28 to deliver solutions across all climate pillars.
Razan Al Mubarak attended events to underscore the significance of nature-positive solutions. At the Nature Positive Hub, Al Mubarak launched a high-level champion-led paper on mobilizing private capital for nature to meet climate and nature goals. The paper includes case studies and recommendations on directing private sector capital toward nature-based solutions.
The visit to New York coincided with Climate Week NYC and the UN General Assembly, where world leaders convened to advance collective action on humanity’s most pressing shared challenges, including the climate crisis.