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Davos (Switzerland): UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has announced that the United Arab Emirates will host the preparatory conference of the UN 2019 Climate Summit in Abu Dhabi in June.

The announcement was made during Guterres’ meeting with Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future; Thani Ahmad Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, on the sidelines of the 49th Annual Meeting of World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland.

The preparatory meeting for the Climate Summit aims to prepare an agenda, recommendations and draft resolutions to be presented and adopted during the United Nations Climate Summit in September.

The meeting will witness the highest international participation in terms of official representation of countries, the private sector and civil society organisations since the Paris Agreement 2015, officials said.

In a statement, the UN Secretary-General said, “I would like to thank the United Arab Emirates for its unwavering support for the United Nations and its commitment to taking ambitious measures to address climate change.”

“I am pleased to announce that the UAE will host the preparatory conference for the United Nations 2019 Summit.”

For his part, Al Gergawi said hosting the high-level preparatory meeting for the Climate Summit reflects the UAE’s directives under the leadership of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to consolidate international cooperation aimed at safeguarding the sustainability of the planet, thus, making it a better place for future generations.

Al Gergawi said the UAE had played a pivotal role in the development of the outcomes of the climate summit hosted by Paris in 2015, through its partnership with the United Nations, hosting the 2014 summit preparatory meeting, which developed recommendations and draft resolutions that have become a global reference for environment’s conservation efforts.

“The UAE shares with the international community the efforts of protecting the environment and addressing the challenges posed by climate change, based on its belief in the centrality of consensus and international cooperation to achieve global goals that transcend individual interests to benefit the humanity as a whole.”

The Minister of Climate Change and Environment added, “The UAE plays a leading global role for the benefit of the environment and climate, and we are honoured to partner with the United Nations and Mr Guterres to raise the level of the world’s aspirations to improve the climate, in light of the intensification of the effects of climate change and its growing negative impact on the international community.”

“Climate change is the most important issue in the world and the biggest challenge to humanity, which requires boosting global cooperation along with unifying and accelerating efforts to meet this challenge and reduce its consequences,” Al Zeyoudi said.

He noted that the UAE is committed to tackling the consequences of climate change and promoting efforts to adapt at the national level, by moving to a low-carbon green economy in line with the 2015-2030 UAE Green Agenda, the National Climate Change Plan 2017-2050 and the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, and at the international level by applying several initiatives to deploy renewable energy solutions and help affected countries and regions adapt to the effects of climate change.

The UN Climate Summit 2019, bringing together heads of state and government and leading executives from the world’s leading private sector institutions, will announce a set of international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, help communities cope with the negative impacts of climate change, and see global efforts to get ready for negotiations for Climate 2020, coinciding with the entry into force of the Paris Agreement.

The preparatory meeting, to be held in Abu Dhabi, will provide an opportunity to discuss pledges, initiatives and directives to be announced at the UN Climate Summit in September.

The UAE hosted the preparatory meeting of the United Nations Climate Summit 2014, which provided a supportive framework for the Paris 2015 meetings in identifying national contributions to each country in terms of climate action. As part of its nationally defined contributions under the Paris Agreement, the UAE pledged to place sustainability at the core of its strategies, in particular UAE Vision 2021, the UAE Energy 2050 strategy, which seeks to increase the share of clean energy from the domestic energy mix to 50%, and the National Climate Change Plan 2017-2050.

Since 2013, the UAE has provided around $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion) in aid to developing countries to deploy renewable energy solutions and has committed itself to reducing and adapting to climate change through its $5 billion annual aid package.