Razan Al Mubarak optimistic Cop28 will yield collective solution to climate change – The National

Real action on climate change must be the legacy of Cop28 if the world is to unite to deal with the urgent issue of rising global temperatures, environmental leaders have said.

After the world’s fourth warmest April since temperatures were first monitored in the 1950s, a report from World Meteorological Organisation scientists revealed the planet is rapidly approaching the critical global-warming threshold of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Decades of mismanagement of the natural world must be rectified to address the associated issues of a warming planet and its effects, but there is cause for optimism, according to Razan Al Mubarak, managing director of the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi and president of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

“I am optimistic because the UAE hosting Cop28 will bring people to the table who would normally be shunned,” Ms Al Mubarak told The National‘s Connectivity Forum.

“For many of us who work in conservation, climate change is the result of nature being mismanaged.

“As a practitioner, I also see how nature can respond and heal. If you leave it alone, it will heal; if you help it, it will thrive.

“In that context, I see great optimism in having success at Cop and addressing climate change moving forward.

“There is a great sense of urgency and we need to act now, and together.”

With the devastating effects of climate change materialising as more frequent extreme weather events and global economies and security suffering, innovation is likely to hold the key to unlocking the door to a more stable environment.

As a young nation, with an average age of 32, the issues of climate change are most likely to be felt in the UAE, and other nations around the region, Ms Al Mubarak said.

With Cop28 providing a platform for positive discussion that leads to real action, the UAE has an opportunity to leave a significant marker for change.

“The UAE is not new to this. It sits geopolitically between north and south, east and west, so it is in a good place to convene and to do more than that,” said Ms Al Mubarak, who is also UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for Cop28.

“[Through Cop28] we can look at what is required. Those requirements are complex but clear.

“We need to collectively, globally, reduce our emissions.

“There are things we can do now and there are things we can invest in in the future. The cost of renewable energy keeps coming down and nature-based solutions are there.

“It is no longer an option to be an ostrich and put your head in the sand.”

Updated: May 19, 2023, 10:26 AM

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