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COP28 Aims to Triple Renewables, Double Energy Efficiency

The negotiations are expected to be focused on phasing out fossil fuels, a gap in climate finance and the framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation at COP28….reports Asian Lite News

The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties (COP28), is set to kick off in Dubai on Thursday, where the host country is hoping to land a deal on the tripling of renewable energy and double the energy efficiency improvement rate by 2030.

The negotiations are expected to be focused on phasing out fossil fuels, a gap in climate finance and the framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation at COP28.

COP28 is the UN’s latest round of global climate talks. This year, it is being hosted by the UAE in Dubai and is due to be attended by 167 world leaders, including King Charles III.

The energy transition will be the central theme around COP28, which will take place between November 30 and December 12, 2023, in Dubai on the occasion of the twenty-eighth United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP28).

This year’s summit is crucial as it comes against the background of climate urgency and the experts are making a clarion call of now or never.

It’s been an unprecedented year in terms of climate disaster, with the world experiencing its hottest 12 months on record.

Around 70,000 people are expected to attend the event this year. 2023 has seen several crunch summits and conferences trying to tackle the climate crisis. Key moments included the G7, the G20, and the UN Climate Ambition Summit.

The gap in climate finance and the ongoing discussions around the reform of multilateral financial institutions are likely to remain a priority during the summit.

The UAE has announced it will work with COP28 participants to triple the world’s renewable energy capacity and renewable power generation capacity and double the energy efficiency improvement rate by 2030.

This would build on the agreement already made at the G20 in India this year.

Negotiators are also hoping to launch the framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation at COP28, meaning they hope to agree to various aspects of the framework, including its purpose, principles, dimensions, themes, cross-cutting considerations, sources, and targets. COP28 could be a turning point to close the growing adaptation financial gap.

The expected outcome at COP28 on loss and damage is the ‘operationalisation’ of the fund. Since COP27, there have been five meetings of the Transitional Committee, which has been tasked with making recommendations for COP28.

India is not mincing words about its energy security needs and reliance on coal to meet its peak power demand, which crossed 240 GW this year. India’s coal production has seen a considerable increase in the last 10 years.

From about 565.7 MT in 2013-14, it has reached 893.08 MT in 2022-23. It is expected to touch 1,012 MT by 2023-24 and 1.5 billion tonnes by 2030. It has been acknowledged by both private and public sector experts that the environmental impacts associated with underground coal mines are lesser when compared to opencast mines; the increase in coal production has largely come from opencast mines.

It is held that opencast coal mines often result in deforestation, displacement and pollution issues. In the last 10 years, the share of underground coal mines in India’s total coal production has come down from close to 9 per cent in 2013-14 to about 4 per cent in 2022-23.

While India is transitioning to a larger share of clean energy sources, it needs to source finance to support the development of green energy corridors and an improved grid infrastructure to support the growth. The G20 New Delhi Leaders Declaration has underlined the need for USD 5.8-5.9 trillion in the pre-2030 period for developing countries to meet the net zero target

Through the Green Zone, the COP28 UAE Presidency offers the private sector the opportunity to showcase their contributions and solutions to the global climate challenge.

Pope Francis to miss COP28

Amidst health concerns, Pope Francis has cancelled his trip to Dubai.

A statement released on Tuesday evening by the Holy See Press Office said, “Even though the Holy Father’s general health situation has improved in relation to the flu and respiratory tract inflammation he has been suffering from, his doctors have asked the Pope not to undertake his scheduled visit to Dubai in the coming days, on the occasion of the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.”

The 86-year-old Pope was scheduled to leave on Friday, December 1 to address the Conference of the Parties (COP28), in Expo city, Dubai on Saturday; his attendance would have made him the first pontiff to address a UN climate conference. On Sunday, the supreme pontiff was set to inaugurate a faith pavilion on the sidelines of the event.

In order to facilitate the Pope’s recovery, some important engagements scheduled for these days have been postponed, Vatican News reported.

Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni said Francis’s health was improving after the flu and inflammation of his respiratory tract forced him to cancel his audiences.

According to the Vatican statement, the pope agreed not to travel “with great regret.” The statement added that it would look into ways that the leader of the world’s Roman Catholics could contribute to the climate discussions remotely. (ANI)

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Al Neyadi Stresses COP28’s Role in Resource Conservation

Al Neyadi stated that COP28 presents an ideal opportunity to preserve the planet’s resources for future generations, rather than seeking alternative resources, which is a highly complex and costly process….reports Asian Lite News

Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi, affirmed that outer space serves as a monitoring point for planet Earth, which is facing the threat of climate change. He highlighted the importance of research conducted to preserve the essential resources for living on the planet.

In an interview with the Emirates News Agency (WAM) on the sidelines of his participation in the Dubai Future Forum 2023, Al Neyadi stated that COP28 presents an ideal opportunity to preserve the planet’s resources for future generations, rather than seeking alternative resources, which is a highly complex and costly process.

Al Neyadi further noted that the participation of astronauts from the UAE, the United States, and the Russian Federation in the Dubai Future Forum 2023 is an opportunity to engage with diverse audiences, experts, and specialists to discuss the astronauts’ perspective on planet Earth and life within the framework of international cooperation. They aim to inform the public about the significance of space missions, ongoing advanced research in the aerospace sector, and aviation, which ultimately benefits humanity.

During a main session titled ‘Lessons from Space for Future Generations’ at the Dubai Future Forum, the astronauts of Mission 69 to the International Space Station, along with astronaut Hazzaa Al Mansoori responsible for overseeing the mission from Earth, shared their experiences, observations, and collective intellectual journeys in the aerospace sector with the forum audience. They showcased their individual and shared knowledge gained during the 186-day mission on the International Space Station.

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Heroic Sacrifices Inspire Future Generations: UAE President

Observed on 30 November each year, His Highness  Sheikh Mohamed stated that the sacrifices made by the UAE’s brave heroes for their nation will continue to inspire successive generations …reports Asian Lite Newsa

President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has said that Commemoration Day is an occasion of profound significance, on which the nation pays tribute to those who selflessly gave their lives in defence of the UAE, its people, its values, and its sovereignty.

In a statement to mark Commemoration Day, observed on 30 November each year, His Highness  Sheikh Mohamed stated that the sacrifices made by the UAE’s brave heroes for their nation will continue to inspire successive generations and serve as emblems of pride and honour for every Emirati man and woman forever more.

The President said: “Each year on 30th November we honour the memory of a revered group of our nation’s heroes who proved their true courage and their loyalty to both God and our homeland.

Commemoration Day is an occasion of profound significance to our beloved nation, a day on which we pay tribute to our martyrs. We proudly and gratefully recall their sacrifices and acts of bravery, and we share these stories with our children and grandchildren.

In doing so, we ensure that their tales of devotion and sacrifice remain alive in the consciousness of future generations, inspiring them to embrace these values of patriotism and be ready to heed the nation’s call, whenever and wherever it may arise.

Our fallen heroes selflessly gave their lives in defence of the UAE, its people, its values, and its sovereignty. Our obligation is to preserve their names and memories, and uphold the values and ideals for which they stood.

By redoubling our efforts and dedication, we will ensure that our nation’s flag remains flying high, as was the wish of our martyrs and for which they gave their lives.

The sacrifices made by our brave heroes for their nation will continue to inspire successive generations and serve as emblems of pride and honour for every Emirati man and woman forever more.

On this special day for our nation, we extend our deepest thanks and gratitude to the families and relatives of our heroes. We honour their sacrifices and their deep love for our country and reaffirm that supporting them will remain our top priority. The sacrifice of their loved ones places upon us a lasting responsibility, one we are committed to fulfilling for all eternity.

Today, as we commemorate our brave heroes, we affirm that they laid down their lives in defence of justice, in support of security and stability, and in pursuit of peace.

The UAE has always been, and will continue to be, an advocate for peace and cooperation, because we believe this is the way to fulfil the aspirations of people around the world for progress and prosperity.

May God bestow His mercy upon our honourable heroes, safeguard the UAE and its people, and grant peace and stability to our nation, the region, and the world,” he added.

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Lulu Launches Al Emarat Awwal Initiative

Emirates Awwal initiative supports the local food sector, which will contribute to enhancing the economic and social benefits of the UAE through the rehabilitation of sustainable agriculture….reports Asian Lite News

In a bid to support the local products and farmers, Lulu Hypermarkets launched the Al Emarat Awwal (UAE First) initiative across all Lulu hypermarkets in the country.

The initiative was inaugurated by HE Mariam Bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment in the presence of Dr. Juma Al Matrooshi, Director General of Dubai Silicon Oasis, Yusuffali M.A., Chairman of the Lulu Group and other dignitaries at Lulu Hypermarket, Silicon Central Mall in Dubai. 

After inauguration, UAE Minister and other dignitaries toured the various “Al Emarat Awwal” initiatives which will be on display till the UAE national day on 2nd December.

Mariam Almheiri praised the initiative, noting that it will market local products to a large customer base, not only within the country but also at the level of the GCC countries. Minister also appreciated the tireless efforts of the Lulu Group to contribute to supporting the economy and developing the agricultural sector in the country.

Yusuffali M.A. on the other hand expressed his pride in the participation of Lulu Hypermarkets in the marketing of UAE agricultural production and various food products, noting that the group will regularly organise events, festivals and performances through a large marketing campaign to increase the market share of Emirati products, which will further contribute to strengthening the sectors of agriculture and the local industry, which are the key to Food security for this great nation.

He said that the Emirates Awwal initiative supports the local food sector, which will contribute to enhancing the economic and social benefits of the UAE through the rehabilitation of sustainable agriculture. We are very excited to be part of this initiative and we will extend all support to boost the UAE local economy.

Lulu Hypermarket works closely with a large number of local companies and organizations to market their products and provide the required support from training, management of operations, packaging and marketing, in addition to distinctive display sites in Lulu stores across all cities of the UAE, and works with a number of leading food products factories in the UAE to market its products under the ‘Lulu’ brand name.

On this occasion Lulu Group also signed an MOU with UAE based Elite agro for procuring and promoting agri products from the UAE. The MoU was signed by Dr. Abdulmonem Almarzooqi, Chief Executive Officer of Elite Agro and Saifee Rupawala, CEO of Lulu Group.

Also present on the occasion were Ashraf Ali MA, Executive Director of Lulu Group, Salim MA, Lulu Director, Salim VI, COO and other officials.

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Abu Dhabi T10: New Leaders, Fresh Aspirations

The seventh edition of Abu Dhabi T10 will take place between November 28 – December 9….reports Asian Lite News

Abu Dhabi T10 announced the captains for the seventh season in a press conference held in Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, here on Monday.

The seventh edition of Abu Dhabi T10 will take place between November 28 – December 9.

West Indies heavy hitter Nicholas Pooran, who led Deccan Gladiators to a title win in the previous edition has been retained as a captain by the defending champions. Meanwhile, the runners-up of last season New York Strikers and Morrisville Samp Army will also continue with veteran allrounders Kieron Pollard and Moeen Ali as Captains, respectively.

The remaining teams made a change in leadership as Sikandar Raza handed over the reins for the Chennai Braves to Charith Asalanka, whilst Northern Warriors named Angelo Mathews as captain, and Delhi Bulls named Rovman Powell as skipper for the season. Team Abu Dhabi picked Dwaine Pretorius to lead the side whilst Bangla Tigers made a surprise pick in Benny Howell as captain.

All the Captains, in attendance at the Press Conference made their intentions clear for the season. Pooran, who was also the highest run-scorer of the last season with 345 runs in 10 matches at an average of 49.29 and a strike rate of 234.69, said that he wishes to win the record third title for Gladiators this season.

“It was a good season for me the last time around, and I was happy to contribute to the team’s success, not only as Captain but also as a batsman. Our target this year is to retain the trophy and we will continue to play the kind of cricket we like to play. It would be an honour for me to lead Gladiators to a record third title this time around. I am ready to take up any role the team wants me to,” Pooran said.

Presently, Gladiators and Northern Warriors are the only two teams to have won two titles. The Warriors have made a strong choice in Mathews as skipper, who has been one of the most successful Captains for Sri Lanka in international cricket.

“I am grateful to be considered to lead Northern Warriors, a franchise that has already achieved massive success in this league. Warriors have already won two trophies and I would love to bring the trophy back to the team so that we all can script history together. This is an exciting format, and the fans can expect big things from our side in the 7th season,” Mathews said.

Meanwhile, Strikers and Morrisville will look to use Pollard and Moeen’s familiarity with the format once again to boost their chances of getting their hands on the trophy. Pollard said he wants to finish the job this season.

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Kwatra holds multiple meetings in UAE on ties, I2U2

Progress on initiatives like I2U2 was also discussed, the Indian Embassy stated…reports Asian Lite News

Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra during his ongoing visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) held multiple rounds of meetings with UAE leaders on issues ranging from bilateral relationships, issues of mutual interest and the I2U2 initiative.

Kwatra held discussions with Salem Al Zaabi, the advisor to UAE Foreign Affairs Minister, Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The two leaders discussed various issues of mutual interest and exchanged views on regional developments.

“Foreign Secretary Kwatra had a fruitful visit to the UAE today. He had an engaging discussion with H.E. Salem Al Zaabi, Advisor to HH @ABZayedon various issues of mutual interest. They also exchanged views on the recent developments in the region, including Afghanistan,” the Indian Embassy in UAE posted on X (formerly Twitter).

He met UAE leader Ahmed AlSaygeh and they reviewed the bilateral economic relationship between India and UAE that has transformed into a multifaceted, mutually beneficial, strategic partnership

Progress on initiatives like I2U2 was also discussed, the Indian Embassy stated.

The I2U2 grouping consists of India, Israel, UAE and the US. The I2U2 Grouping was conceptualized during the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the four countries held on 18 October 2021, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

The Foreign Secretary also had insightful meeting with Anwar Gargash, the diplomatic advisor to the UAE President

“Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra had an insightful meeting with HE Dr@AnwarGargash, Diplomatic Advisor to the UAE President HH Sheikh Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The two leaders discussed wide-ranging issues of mutual interest and developments in the region and beyond,” tweeted the Indian Embassy in UAE.

Kwatra met UAE MoS for Foreign Affairs, Reem AlHashimy. They discussed a wide range of issues, including the progress of India-UAE strategic partnership and areas of future cooperation. Also exchanged perspectives on the recent developments in the region, the embassy added.

Last week, Foreign Secretary Kwatra led the Indian delegation at the 18th India-Iran Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) in Tehran.

The Iranian side was led by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Ali Bagheri at the FOC on November 26.

“Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra and Deputy FM for Political Affairs of Iran @Bagheri_Kani co-chaired the 18th India-Iran FOC in Tehran today,” MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi posted on X. (ANI)

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COP28: India Seeks Concrete Action on Climate Funding, Tech Transfer

The Finance Minister of India made the comments during a virtual session at the inaugural event of India Global Forum Middle East and Africa 2023 (IGF ME&A) held in Dubai.

India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman called for concrete action on climate funding and transfer of technology at the upcoming global climate summit COP28, where policymakers and governments will converge to chalk future strategy for climate mitigation.

The Finance Minister made the comments during a virtual session at the inaugural event of India Global Forum Middle East and Africa 2023 (IGF ME&A) held in Dubai on Monday.

“India will certainly be pushing forward to showcase what it has achieved with its own funds. The Paris commitment given by us has been funded by us. We didn’t wait for the hundred billion that is never on the table. A lot of talk, but no money coming on the table. No pathways to show how technology is going to be transferred,” Nirmala Sitharaman observed.

Climate finance typically refers to any financing that seeks to support mitigation and adaptation actions that will address climate change.

Demanding action instead of words, the Union Minister said, “Particularly for developing and emerging market economies, funding this is going to be a huge challenge. So, I would think the conversations can happen; a lot of talks can happen but eventually, COP28 should show the direction, both for the transfer of technology and for the actual funding.”

The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, more commonly referred to as COP28, will be the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference, which will be held from November 30 until December 12, in Dubai.

While she admitted that there would be challenges, Nirmala Sitharaman said that the current geopolitical tensions in the Middle East would not affect the ambitious India-Middle East-Europe Corridor (IMEEC) that was announced during the G20 Summit back in September.

“It is a vision for long-term considerations and it is going to be a long-term project. It’s not just going to depend on one or another major event pertaining to the area. It is going to be pursued because India has a very good relationship with each of the Middle East countries. So, IMEEC, or the India, Middle East, and Europe Economic Corridor is not going to be dependent on one or the other major event of concern, but it is something on which the vision drives the implementation in the long run,” she noted.

“So, it’s going to face challenges alright, but it has got its own strengths, and countries who are directly or indirectly involved with this project are absolutely clear that this, through India, is going to be critical for global trade, global partnerships and also making sure that this corridor will benefit each one of these countries,” she said.

Under the theme ‘Unleashing Ambitions,’ IGF ME&A convenes business leaders, policymakers, and thought leaders from India, the Middle East, and Africa to discuss opportunities for further collaboration and growth between these regions through a series of exclusive networking opportunities, panel discussions, and keynote speeches, covering a range of topics including trade, investment, innovation, technology, and sustainability.

UAE’s AI Minister, Omar Al Olama, emphasised the indispensability of artificial intelligence and its impact on society.

“If anyone, whether it’s in the UAE or another country, says we’re going to stop or not allow you to use these tools, how will it impact your quality of life? It’s going to have a detrimental impact on your quality of life. This is the fact of the matter. That’s why countries like India, for example, went down the non-conventional path of creating their own platforms, which I think is very smart and really the way that many countries of that size need to go. In that sense, AI is driving the economy. AI is impacting society. And AI is today the technology that is enabling people to go into the 21st century in the right way. Governing it the right way, regulating it the right way and developing certain forms of the right way is really the only way to go,” Olama said.

Omar bin Sultan Al Olama

On AI regulation, Olama expressed his scepticism, saying, “Calls for regulation of AI are non-starters and I’ve been saying this for a few years and the reason why is it’s as if I told someone I’m going to regulate a field of computer science or I’m going to regulate electricity. You don’t regulate electricity; you regulate where electricity is used and what are the outcomes. And AI is a field of computer science. It is very difficult for you to have one set of regulations that cut across all its use cases.”

“The second thing is the impact of AI differs on geography. So, I’m sure the Indian stakeholders in India that are looking at the impact of AI in India will see much different challenges to India than I’m seeing in the UAE because of demographic differences, because of different job classes and types of jobs and maturity of the technology.”

IGF Forum also witnessed interventions from Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Gujarat Industries Minister Harsh Sanghavi, Author and Monk Gaur Gopal Das, Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO of Droom Technology, representative from Zupee and some other startups from India.

At the COP26 summit in Glasgow in 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had committed to an ambitious five-part “Panchamrit” pledge, including reaching 500 GW of non-fossil electricity capacity, generating half of all energy requirements from renewables, to reducing emissions by 1 billion tonnes by 2030.

India also aims to reduce the emissions intensity of GDP by 45 per cent. Finally, India commits to net-zero emissions by 2070. (ANI)

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COP28 Last Chance For Course Correction: WEC Chief

“Our focus should be on redesigning the entire energy system and humanising the energy challenge,” said Dr. Angela Wilkinson.

COP28 is the world’s last chance to rectify its climate course, the World Energy Council’s Secretary General and CEO said today during the Dubai Future Forum 2023.

Dr. Angela Wilkinson told the world’s largest gathering of futurists that the international community must harness all foresight and future thinking capabilities to address shifts in social structures and societal transformation, particularly concerning energy usage.

“We are in a new era of energy transition – for both the people and the planet,” she said, urging a more pragmatic approach to the energy transition and describing the challenge of having to “navigate an ocean of future thinking and foresight”.

In her keynote speech, Dr. Wilkinson emphasised, “We must bear in mind that every living system undergoes a fundamental transformation of its underlying energy system. Reflecting on the last century, we must adopt a different perspective and consider the broader picture. Future and foresight are critical to energy transition.”

Further underscoring her point, she stated, “Merely 7 percent of the world’s energy system comprises wind and solar energy, and only 2 percent of personal vehicles are electric. The pace of decarbonisation is much slower than necessary, and over 3 billion people worldwide lack sufficient access to affordable energy.”

Acknowledging a significant disruption in energy over the past few years, Dr. Wilkinson highlighted the compounding crises across modern energy societies and stressed that “we must strive for the best, but always remain open to what might differ from our expectations.”

“In our search for solutions, we must take stock of our expectations. COP28 represents the last chance for course correction. Our focus should be on redesigning the entire energy system and humanising the energy challenge. There is no one-size-fits-all solution,” she added.

She also emphasised the importance of overcoming fear regarding climate change, stating, “We need to bridge the gap between climate catastrophism and technological hyperbolism, fostering a new middle movement that considers what is both desirable and realistic.”

The Dubai Future Forum, taking place on 27th-28th November, brings together over 2,500 global experts from diverse future-focused fields, with broad participation from ministers, government officials, industry policymakers, CEOs, and more than 100 top global organisations from over 100 countries. The forum features more than 150 speakers across more than 70 sessions over the two days.

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WGES Explores Roadmap to a More Sustainable Future

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE), and the World Green Economy Organisation (WGEO) organise the 9thWorld Green Economy Summit (WGES) at Madinat Jumeirah Conference Centre in Dubai with the theme ‘Bridging the Gap to the Future: Advancing the Global Green Economy’.

The summit will offer an active platform to discuss ways to enhance cooperation and joint efforts, create paths for exchanging expertise to bolster climate action and environmental initiatives, and accelerate the transition towards a green economy. The summit exemplifies the UAE’s leading position as a global hub for the green economy, innovation, and sustainable development. The summit is further committed to supporting and promoting international cooperation focused on tackling sustainability challenges.

“The UAE has adopted the green economy as one of the pillars of its new knowledge-based model, as part of the “We Are the Emirates 2031” vision, and as an essential axis in implementing the country’s sustainable development. Accelerating green growth represents an important path in the country’s economic journey and several ongoing initiatives to build a flexible and sustainable economic model for the future. Among these initiatives is the circular economy policy, which contributes to building an economic system that is more sustainable, rationalizes resources, and relies on clean energy, and less on waste, pollution, and carbon emissions,” said Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy.

“The 2023 edition of the Summit seeks to achieve various goals such as galvanising international efforts to mitigate climate change, sustainable development in key sectors such as energy, agriculture, and industry, raising awareness of the importance of the green economy and fostering green innovation, technology, and investments. Additionally, the global summit focuses on assessing previous progress and underscoring vital innovations from national institutions, civil organisations, and the private sector. It will also showcase futuristic and innovative solutions that have the potential to boost the transition towards a comprehensive green economic model,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, MD CEO of DEWA, and Chairman of WGEO.

‘’The summit also paves the way for COP28. The summit will explore priority areas and topics for COP28, particularly accelerating systematic, fair and responsible transformation in the energy sector and developing climate financing systems. It will also host sessions and discussions focusing on green policy, green finance, green technology and innovation, green energy, and green partnerships,” Al Tayer added.

As environmental and climate concerns surge alongside global economic and social repercussions, there is an urgency to forge international collaborations and multi-sector partnerships. These are cornerstones for achieving shared visions on approaches and methodologies to mitigate sustainability challenges that are driving the world to devise frameworks to ensure a prosperous future. In this regard, the vital role of sustainability-focused international conferences and forums cannot be overlooked. These events offer dynamic platforms for constructive discussions and sharing expertise, perspectives as well as developmental methodologies that guarantee unhindered growth of countries and economies while conserving natural resources and the environment, as well as addressing challenges such as carbon emissions.

The World Green Economy Summit (WGES) stands as one of the key international events that promotes the green economy and reach carbon neutrality. The annual summit, which convenes in Dubai, is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. It assembles prominent experts, thought leaders, stakeholders, and researchers from renowned global universities and research centres. In addition, WGES promotes global cooperation and partnerships between governments, the private sector, and society to bolster sustainable development and environmental conservation. It serves as a platform for discussing various critical topics that contribute to advancing the sustainability agenda globally, including energy, finance, food security, reducing carbon emissions, innovation, the youth, and organizational governance. Furthermore, the summit highlights the development and promotion of international collaborations with civil societies to achieve these objectives.

The summit’s session focusing on ‘Green Policy’ will highlight the progress in global carbon markets, national and institutional approaches, sustainable development goals and fair green transition policies. The session on ‘Green Financing’ will address ensuring balanced access of finance to low- and middle-income countries, tackling investment risks, exploring financing techniques, the global economic landscape, and solutions provided by private sector companies. The ‘Green Technologies and Innovation’ session will focus on technology and solutions that can expedite the transition to a green economy. These include deep-sea mining, artificial intelligence (AI), hydrogen, electric vehicles, carbon capture and storage, and urban innovation. The ‘Green Energy’ session will explore addressing risks and challenges to energy supplies that might hamper the seamless transition to green energy. The session will also highlight topics such as the link between water, food, and energy, solar energy in low- and medium-income economies, the critical role of oil and gas companies in energy transition, and other factors related to the leading energy industries. The ‘Green Partnerships’ session will explore prospects of collaborations between international organizations supporting the Global Alliance on Green Economy, the financial industry, cities, educational settings, youth, and civil society.

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UAE Welcomes Palestinians

The plane landed in Abu Dhabi, carrying 93 children who are in the most urgent need of medical assistance, as well as cancer patients who need extensive treatment, accompanied by 80 of their families

The third group of wounded Palestinian children and cancer patients arrived in the UAE in implementation of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to provide medical treatment for 1,000 injured children, and 1,000 cancer patients from the Gaza Strip, in the UAE’s hospitals.

Departing from Al-Arish International Airport in the Arab Republic of Egypt, the plane landed at Abu Dhabi International Airport, carrying 93 children who are in the most urgent need of medical assistance, including those suffering from severe injuries and burns, as well as cancer patients who need extensive treatment, accompanied by 80 of their families.

Maha Barakat, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Health, said, “The third flight of the initiative, which reflects the UAE’s unwavering and continuous support for the brotherly Palestinian people, aims to assist the most vulnerable groups and the deteriorating health sector in the Gaza Strip.”

Barakat added that the UAE’s hospitals will provide all the injured and cancer patients with the highest quality of medical treatment, stressing that the support will continue to mitigate the ongoing dire humanitarian conditions in Gaza.

Since the outbreak of the crisis, the UAE immediately provided urgent humanitarian aid and supplies to the Gaza Strip. In this regard, President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued a directive to allocate a humanitarian aid package of US$20 million. His Highness also ordered the establishment of an integrated field hospital inside the Gaza Strip as part of the “Gallant Knight 3” operation.

Ceasefire Extended

With the four-day ceasefire expiring on Tuesday, Israel and Hamas have agreed to extend the humanitarian pause by two days, a Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesperson confirmed.

“The State of Qatar announces, as part of the ongoing mediation, an agreement has been reached to extend the humanitarian pause for an additional two days in the Gaza Strip,” the spokesperson said on X.

Deeming the extension as “a glimpse of hope and humanity in the middle of the darkness of war”, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: “I strongly hope that these will enable us to increase even more the humanitarian aid to the people in Gaza that (are) suffering so much.”

On Monday, the last day of the Israel-Hamas truce which came into effect on November 24, Israel confirmed that Hamas released another 11 captives in the Gaza Strip, while 33 Palestinians released by Israel arrived early Tuesday in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

The Qatari Foreign Ministry said the 11 hostages freed by the Hamas were all dual nationals, comprising three Israeli-French citizens, two Israeli-German citizens, and six Israeli-Argentinian citizens.

They were released 52 days after being taken hostage by Hamas militants in their deadly attack on southern Israel on October 7.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) and Israel Security Agency (ISA) forces are currently accompanying 11 released hostages in Israeli territory, according to an official statement.

“After they undergo an initial medical assessment, our forces will escort them until they are reunited with their families,” it added.

With Monday’s releases, the Hamas has so far freed 69 hostages, primarily women and children, since the truce came into force on November 24. Israel has freed at least 150 Palestinians from prison, mainly women and minors, till date.

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