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Monday, February 6, 2023

COP28: Al Mubarak emerges 8th UN Climate Change High-Level Champion

Razan Al Mubarak has been announced as the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion from the COP28 Presidency. She will be joining Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, who continues in his role as the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion from the COP27 Presidency.

Razan Al Mubarak
Razan Al Mubarak

Al Mubarak is currently President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the second woman to lead the organisation in its 75-year history. She is also the founding director of the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund which, since its inception, has supported more than 2,500 species conservation projects in over 160 countries.

In 2010, Al Mubarak was appointed as the Managing Director of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), becoming the youngest person to lead an Abu Dhabi entity and the only woman to hold such a position. Under her guidance and leadership, the government agreed to double its protected wildlife areas and adopt the region’s first carbon targets: a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 42% by 2030.

Commenting on her appointment, Al Mubarak said: “A healthy environment, including its climate and biodiversity, is central to everyone’s wellbeing. We must go beyond business as usual and elevate nature as an important solution to climate change. To accomplish this, we need everyone to contribute to global climate action, including women, youth, and indigenous people, as well as business, government, civil society, and academia.

“The UAE has always been a convener of peoples from around the world and I look forward to working with the COP28 Presidency to ensure that diverse voices are present both in the leadup to, and during, the climate conference. As a lifelong champion of environmental action, including in the protection of biodiversity and the advancement of nature-based solutions, the opportunity to work on this global challenge is an honour.”

The role of the High-Level Champions was created in 2015 at COP21 in Paris to facilitate through strengthened high-level engagement the successful execution of existing efforts and the scaling-up and introduction of new or strengthened voluntary efforts, initiatives and coalitions. Through the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, The Champions specifically accelerate ambitious climate action among non-State actors, including cities, regions, businesses, investors and civil society, with the speed, scale and justice needed in support of Parties and the UNFCCC process.

As the international community prepares for COP28 the focus for the Climate Champions will be on accelerating the delivery of pledges, increasing transparency, further regionalising our work and helping increase financial flows for resilience.

In a year of unrelenting climate extremes – from flooding in Pakistan to drought in the horn of Africa – COP27 ended with an historic deal to create a new fund, in which countries responsible for high carbon emissions will compensate vulnerable countries suffering from climate impacts. It also elevated adaptation and resilience, with the launch of the Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda.

Building on this momentum, the UAE will lead a process for all parties to agree upon a clear roadmap to accelerate progress through a pragmatic global energy transition and a “leave no one behind” approach to inclusive climate action. As mandated by the Paris Agreement, COP28 will also deliver the conclusion of the first ever Global Stocktake – a comprehensive assessment of progress against climate goals.

Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion from the COP27 Presidency, said: “I am very pleased to welcome Razan Al Mubarak as the 8th UN Climate Change High-Level Champion from the COP28 Presidency. During this critically important year, which will see the conclusion of the first Global Stocktake, I am honoured to work alongside Al Mubarak to accelerate ambitious non state action that catalyses climate action across all regions globally.”

The two Champions will work together to advance the improved Marrakech Partnership five-year plan to drive greater ambition from non-state actors to achieve a net zero, climate-resilient future, building on the foundational leadership of the Marrakech Partnership.

Both High-Level Champions will attend Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week from January 14 to 19, 2023. The event brings together heads of state, policy makers, industry leaders, investors, entrepreneurs and youth to discuss and engage in bold climate action and innovations.

Underlining the vital role women play in accelerating climate action, Al Mubarak will deliver a keynote address at the  “Women in Diplomacy Event – Empowering Lives and Livelihoods – Renewables for Adaptation”, organised by the International Renewables Energy Agency (IRENA). Dr. Mohieldin, meanwhile, will deliver a keynote address at the opening plenary of The Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum during which he’ll urge the need for implementation at scale and speed.

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