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The world needed to find a new way

Dr Sultan Al Jaber

 – COP28 President closing plenary

First, let me say As-Salamu Alaykum … and thank you… we have travelled a long road together… in a short amount of time. Over the last two weeks, we have worked very hard to secure a better future for our people and our planet. We should be proud of our historic achievement. And the United Arab Emirates … my country … is rightly proud of its role in helping you to move this forward.

The world needed to find a new way. By following our North Star, we have found that path. We have delivered a comprehensive response to the Global Stocktake and all the other mandates. Together, we have confronted realities and we have set the world in the right direction. We have given it a robust action plan to keep 1.5 within reach. It is a plan that is led by the science. It is a balanced plan, that tackles emissions, bridges the gap on adaptation, reimagines global finance, and delivers on loss and damage. It is built on common ground. It is strengthened by inclusivity. And it is reinforced by collaboration.

It is an enhanced, balanced, but make no mistake historic package to accelerate climate action. It is the UAE consensus.

Many said this could not be done. But when I spoke to you at the very start of COP, I promised a different sort of COP. A COP that brought everyone together, private and public sectors, civil society and faith leaders, youth and indigenous peoples. Everyone came together from day one. Everyone united, acted and delivered. We operationalized loss and damage… and started to fill the fund. We mobilized more than $85B in new financial commitments. We launched ALTÉRRA, the world’s largest catalytic private investor that is 100 percent focused on solutions to climate change. And we delivered world first after world first.

A global goal to triple renewables and double energy efficiency. Declarations on agriculture, food and health. Many more oil and gas companies stepping up for the first time on methane and emissions. And, we have language on fossil fuels in our final agreement. All of these are world firsts. And all of these are crucial actions that will help shape a better, cleaner world with greater, more equitable prosperity. And then we became the first COP to host a change-makers Majlis. And I felt that that was the turning point in our negotiations. You reconnected with your spirit of collaboration, you got out of your comfort zones and started speaking to each other from the heart.

That made the difference

Now, we can truly say that we united, we acted, and we delivered. Friends here, let me sound a word of caution. An agreement is only as good as its implementation. We are what we do, not what we say. We must take the steps necessary to turn this agreement into tangible action. If we unite in action, we can have a profoundly positive effect on all our futures.

And I mean all our futures. Because inclusivity has been the beating heart of this conference. It kept us going during the difficult days. You never gave up on the process, a process that was driven by solidarity, transparency and a willingness to listen. And everyone has been heard, from indigenous peoples to global youth to the Global South. As a result, we have delivered a paradigm shift that has the potential to redefine our economies.

We have reframed the conversation around climate finance. We have integrated the real economy into climate action. And we have moved to a new mindset, where solutions to the climate challenge become the drivers of a new economic age.

Friends, it has been a personal privilege for me to have the opportunity to guide this conference. I am humbled by the commitment I have seen and the unwavering efforts I have witnessed. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all who made this happen.

To every country that came and made this COP a success, I say thank you. To every single participant, everyone I met in this special place, I say thank you.

You have come in record numbers, you care deeply about the future of this wonderful planet – and so do I. And to you, the delegates, who met me at 4 and 5 am, I also say thank you.

And allow me to take this opportunity to express my deepest respect and gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates. I am deeply grateful for his confidence, guidance and constant support. I hope we made you proud.

And to my family, who I have seen far too little of over the last year. You inspire and motivate me. I would not be standing here without you. Thank you. To my team, who have worked non-stop for over a year, and who have supported me every step of the way in this historic process, I also say thank you.

Our country has shown that we can deliver on the global stage for the benefit of the planet and its people. We have helped restore faith and trust in multilateralism. And we have shown that humanity can come together, to help humanity.

Colleagues, our task was to build on the foundations that others have laid for us. And I tell you what we have built together will stand the test of time. Future generations may not know your names, but they will owe every single one of you a debt of gratitude. We leave Dubai with our heads held high. And our work goes on. In unity and solidarity, we will walk the new path that the UAE consensus has set for the world.

Together, we will follow our North Star. We will follow it from here to Baku and from Baku to Belem. And together, we will secure the future of this beautiful planet for the many generations to come.

And let me finish by saying this. I hope that the spirit of partnership, inclusivity and peace that has welcomed you here in the UAE goes with you from this place and lives on for the good of all humanity.



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