Razan Al Mubarak Calls for Collective Climate Action at Road to COP28 Event

Razan Al Mubarak at the Road to COP28 event hosted by Dubai Chambers.

Razan Al Mubarak, UN High-Level Climate Champion for COP28, highlighted the importance of collective climate action among non-state actors including businesses, cities, financial institutions, civil society, and academia.

The event, titled “Road to COP28: Driving Collective Action in the UAE,” was hosted by the High-Level Champions and the Dubai Chamber, with support from the COP28 Presidency. It brought together various stakeholders to mobilize efforts towards inclusive climate progress, focusing on climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience, as well as finance.

Read Ms. Al Mubarak’s statement below:

Yesterday, I had the incredible opportunity to engage with the vibrant business community in the UAE in fostering climate action. Hosted by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, the event was a chance to capitalize on my charge as High-Level Climate Champions: to engage companies, cities, regions, financial institutions, educational bodies, and healthcare organizations on a transformative journey towards halving emissions and building a nature-positive world by 2030. 

As we embark on the road to COP28 UAE, I am keen to engage the non-state actor community in the UAE as they lead the charge towards achieving net-zero emissions and building climate resilience. 

The private sector in the UAE – including CEOs of companies operating in the built environment, finance, and circular economy sectors, with whom I had an opportunity to meet – is not just capable, but fully prepared to take ambitious climate action.

But to realize our goals, we must create suitable regulatory environments and frameworks that support this transformative journey. We need to foster cross-collaboration among different sectors, leverage technology as an enabler, and secure increased financial resources. The UAE’s aim is to collectively drive both global and regional climate action that has a positive impact on nature - and to ensure that all are represented at the table. 

Together, we can make a difference. By working hand in hand, embracing innovation, and prioritizing sustainability, we have the power to drive meaningful change, not only in the UAE but also globally. 

My thanks to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and the COP28 team for this incredible opportunity for a glimpse into an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable future for all!

— Razan Al Mubarak

IUCN President Razan Al Mubarak Leads 109th Council Meeting in Switzerland

Group photo after the 109th Council Meeting in Switzerland.

Razan Al Mubarak, President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), convened the 109th IUCN Council Meeting held in Gland, Switzerland on 23 May 2023. Ms. Al Mubarak, who has been at the forefront of important environmental initiatives, is the second woman and the first representative from the Arab world to lead the organization.

In her statement, Ms. Al Mubarak emphasized the urgency of addressing climate change's impact on species:

“It is already a fact that species are going extinct as a direct result of climate change. Rising greenhouse gas levels and their adverse effects are putting additional pressure on thousands of species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. At the same time, natural ecosystems provide key services that can help address the climate challenge. They store carbon and protect people from the worst effects of climate hazards like sea-level rise, flooding, heatwaves and droughts.”

The IUCN is one of the main proponents of the idea that nature-based solutions are a key part of the effort to keep global warming well below the threshold of 2°C above pre-industrial levels agreed through the UN framework. Besides reducing emissions, nature-based solutions – like dealing with deforestation, restoring ecosystems and improving farm management – will also reinforce adaptation measures as humanity deals with some inevitable climate change impacts.

Ms. Al Mubarak, who also serves as UN Climate Change High-Level Champion, focused on integrating nature and biodiversity conservation into the agenda for the upcoming COP28 UAE, scheduled to take place at Expo City Dubai from 30 November to 12 December 2023.

In the UAE, Ms. Al Mubarak, who is also the Managing Director of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi and the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, has been an active champion of the idea that restoring natural habitats is not only good for biodiversity but for climate and livelihoods, too.

Razan Al Mubarak Calls on Youth at NYU Abu Dhabi: “You Are The Catalyst for Change”

Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, called on the youth to “step forward and make a difference” during her commencement address at NYU Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

Read a summarized version of Ms. Al Mubarak’s speech below or watch the full speech on YouTube.

“Your Highness, ladies and gentlemen, esteemed faculty, proud parents, and most crucially, the graduating class of 2023 at NYU Abu Dhabi. Today, I address you with a great sense of pride and a resounding sense of urgency. Pride because you, our future, trailblazers, are set to journey into the world armed with knowledge, skills, and you carry with you not only our hopes and dreams, but most importantly, the harvest of the UAE’s most sacred values: the values of compassion, openness, and a relentless optimism in conquering any challenge.

Urgency, because our world urgently needs those values, needs your innovation, bravery and unwavering dedication and youthful energy. Our planet, ladies and gentlemen, stands at a critical juncture. The dual crises of climate change and the loss of nature and biodiversity pose a severe threat to life as we know it.

Both crises were born out of human activities, and it is our collective responsibility to leverage human ingenuity, collaboration and the will to mitigate them. Successful conservation efforts have demonstrated that biodiversity can recover when we protect and restore habitats.

Because nature will heal if we let it and it will thrive if we help it.

Your education at NYU Abu Dhabi empowers you to contribute to these solutions. Whether you're a social or physical scientist, a biologist, engineer, economist, artist or philosopher, you all have a unique role in this monumental endeavor.

Dear graduates, as you embark on this exciting new journey, remember that you are not just the inheritors of our world as it stands, but also the architects of the world as it could be. Through your actions, you have the power to transform the narrative of climate change and the loss of nature from one of despair into one of hope, resilience and restoration.

Margaret Mead, the renowned anthropologist, once said, “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Bear in mind that you are that group. You are the catalyst for change. NYU Abu Dhabi Class of 2023. It is time for us to step forward and make a difference in our world.

Congratulations and thank you.”

— Razan Al Mubarak

Razan Al Mubarak for International Day for Biological Diversity 2023

Hello friends and hello colleagues,

Today marks the International Day for Biological Diversity, reminding us of the urgent need to take action to stop the loss of biodiversity, which is one of the most significant crises that we face.

The planet is losing over 10,000 species each year, which is 1,000 times faster than the historical baseline. However, when we talk about the challenges facing our planet, climate change usually takes precedence. We tend to treat climate change and biodiversity loss as separate issues, to the point where we have separate COPs for each.

This year's International Day of Biological Diversity is a reminder of the hope and determination we have with the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework at COP 15. We hope to take decisive action with policies that recognize the interconnectedness of climate change and biodiversity loss as two sides of the same coin.

With guidance and determination from governments, indigenous peoples, local communities, non-state actors, and individuals, we can all do our part to stop biodiversity loss. We can move from agreement to action.

Because when we lose nature, we lose ourselves.

— Razan Al Mubarak