(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) This week, delegates from 150 countries will assemble in Doha, Qatar for the 18th Conference of Parties (COP18) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The United Arab Emirates will be an active participant, giving its full support to the government of Qatar in ensuring a successful outcome to the Conference.
The UAE delegation will have HE Dr. Rashid Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, the UAE's Special Envoy on Climate Change and CEO of Masdar and representatives from Prime Minister Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry Of Environment and Water, Ministry Of Energy, Masdar, Masdar Institute, ADNOC and Dubai Supreme Energy Council, General Civil Aviation Authority and other federal and local entities.
"The fact that COP18 has come to the GCC for the first time is a great opportunity for us to showcase the region's achievements" said Dr. Sultan Al Jaber. "The UAE and other GCC countries are taking concrete, ambitious steps to advance clean energy. Ensuring the success of COP18 will enhance the standing of the region as a whole." He noted "The UAE has adopted a leading role in the international climate process for several years. In 2010 the establishment of the Directorate of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was an important step in scaling up the UAE's engagement in the UNFCCC." "The UAE believes strongly both in clean energy and in multilateral cooperation, as shown through our support of the International Renewable Energy Agency, hosted in Abu Dhabi" said Dr. Al Jaber.
The COP18 negotiations will focus on launching a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and beginning negotiations for a new agreement, expected to conclude in 2015. The UAE will play an active role, with a 75 person team on the ground in Doha.
"Agreement on the Kyoto Protocol's second commitment period is critically important, as it will keep alive a multilateral framework and mechanisms such as the CDM that have driven clean energy investment in developing countries" said Dr. Al Jaber. "This will build confidence among countries and enable us to move forward in shaping a new agreement." In addition to participation in the negotiations, the UAE will have a strong physical presence. A pavilion in the Qatar Sustainability Expo showcases UAE achievements in clean energy and sustainability issues, with a structure based on the Masdar Institute's cutting edge campus building.
The UAE will also host an official side event on December 6th to explore the "nexus" between water, food and energy issues. This discussion will feed into Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which will be held on January 13-17 2013.
UAE delegates will also represent our leadership in clean energy and climate change in various panels and side events.
The UNFCCC was agreed in 1992 to frame international action on climate change. The Kyoto Protocol (KP), agreed in 1997, set legally binding emission targets for developed countries for the period through 2012. The UAE, classed as a developing country, has no obligations under the KP. The KP also established the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) to support low emissions projects in developing countries. The UAE has 4 CDM projects, with several more proposed.
Since 2007 countries have negotiated under the Bali Action Plan to shape further action under the Convention - known as Long-Term Cooperative Action (LCA). This has been paired with negotiations for the Kyoto Protocol to adopt further targets for developed countries after 2012.
In Durban in 2011 the COP decided to adopt a second commitment period for the KP and to terminate the LCA in 2012. It also decided to launch a new process, called the Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform (ADP). The ADP has until 2015 to negotiate a new agreement "with legal force" covering all countries that will apply after 2020.
The work of COP18 is to implement these decisions, formally adopting the second commitment period of the KP, closing the LCA and launching the ADP. Each of these decisions involves reaching agreement on a range of technical and political issues.
This year, the UAE will be hosting the first-ever Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), which will welcome over 30,000 participants from over 150 countries between January 13 and 17, 2013, to shape and advance the sustainability agenda. ADSW will be anchored by the well-established 6th World Future Energy Summit (January 15 to 17), the world's premier clean energy forum, which has been bringing together global leaders on future energy since 2008.
Alongside WFES, ADSW will also bring together the 3rd General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (January 13 to 14), the award ceremony of the Zayed Future Energy Prize (January 15), the 1st Joint Ministerial Meeting on Energy between the Arab and South American (ASPA) (January 16), and ADIREC, the Abu Dhabi International Renewable Energy Conference (January 15 to 17).
In addition, in recognition of the critical importance of the energy-water nexus, this year ADSW will see launched the inaugural International Water Summit (January 15 to 17).
ADSW will be a significant platform for international dialogue and cooperation, and one which we believe can be uniquely leveraged given its high-level mix of business, government, NGOs, and academia, with strong youth and entrepreneur outreach.