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Island countries and COP28 Presidency chart course for COP28

Alliance of Small Island States and UAE COP28 Presidency prepare for decisive outcomes at COP28, particularly on finance and adaptation, for Small Island Developing States

In a recent meeting at the United Nations General Assembly, the Prime Minister of Samoa and Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), Honourable Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa, along with COP28 President-Designate, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, led a discussion with the 39-country Alliance. The focus was on outlining priority outcomes for small island developing countries (SIDS) at the upcoming COP28 in Dubai.

Prime Minister Mataʻafa emphasized the urgent need for a robust action plan to combat the climate crisis threatening their islands. She urged all nations to come to COP28 prepared to take significant steps towards climate action. This includes greater mitigation and adaptation ambition from the international community and operationalizing a Loss and Damage fund tailored to the needs of communities most vulnerable to climate change.

The meeting saw AOSIS ministers and COP28 leadership, including High-Level Champion Razan Al Mubarak, strategizing on diverse issues. These ranged from cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 43% by 2030 to securing international finance for SIDS’ capacity to cope with severe climate impacts.

Dr. Al Jaber acknowledged AOSIS’s contributions to many key aspects of the COP28 agenda. He expressed commitment towards ensuring that COP28 delivers for SIDS, especially in light of the Global Stocktake this year. This event calls for the international community to address gaps in implementing the Paris Agreement.

The meeting also saw discussions on the COP28 Action Agenda, which will focus on climate levers including nature and biodiversity, food systems, human health, and crisis relief and recovery. The importance of climate leadership and investment for women, indigenous peoples, youth, frontline communities, and other stakeholders was also highlighted.

The UAE’s Mariam Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment and COP28 Food Champion, and Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation were also part of the COP28 Presidency team at the meeting.