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Letter: Time to support UAE and its COP28 presidency

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“The world cannot afford to waste another COP”. I very much agree with the FT editorial board (“Time is running out for the UAE to save its COP28”, Financial TimesJune 15).

With five months to go, it’s time to support a country that has already demonstrated an intent to transform. The United Arab Emirates plans to spend $160 billion on green innovation over the next 30 years. It has already invested nearly $17 billion in low-carbon energy outside the UAE and plans to invest billions more, including in the UK.

The UAE sits on rich oil and gas resources – but is committed to net zero emissions. Dr Sultan al-Jaber has a COP28 chair who publicly called for a course correction and challenged the oil and gas industry to “decarbonise faster, adapt to the future faster, and create the energy system of the future faster”. It understands that the energy system of the future must be safer, more affordable and lower carbon. This requires more investment in the energy transition and (not or) continued investment in today’s predominantly hydrocarbon energy system. In this regard, the UAE is a model — perhaps unique.

As we head towards COP28, let’s review the lessons of COP21. At the Paris conference, the door was wide open. People sit around the same table and work pragmatically. The result – the deadlock over common goals and frameworks for common action is broken. If people want a truly transformative COP28, let’s support a country that is taking action on climate change and support the UAE and Dr Al-Jaber’s leadership of this important process.

bernard rooney
Chief Executive Officer, BP, London SW1, UK

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