Razan Al Mubarak Discusses the Critical Role of Cities in Global Climate Strategies

In an editorial published in The National, Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, emphasized the significant role that cities play in addressing global climate change. She highlighted findings from a recent study unveiled at the Bonn Climate Change Conference, which showed that despite their contributions to greenhouse gas emissions, urban centers are frequently overlooked in national climate plans.

Ms. Al Mubarak advocates for a greater focus on integrating cities into Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), given their potential to impact global climate goals significantly. She explains, "Cities, which provide numerous opportunities such as employment, education, and healthcare, also experience the adverse effects of climate change, from escalating heatwaves to more frequent flooding. This dual role positions them uniquely to lead in climate mitigation and adaptation efforts."

Her editorial also revisits last year’s COP28 Local Climate Action Summit, highlighting the launch of the COP28 Coalition for High Ambition Multilevel Partnership (CHAMP). This initiative was a pivotal step towards bringing urban issues to the forefront of climate discussions, ensuring that cities and regions are key players in formulating and executing climate action.

Through her continued advocacy, Ms. Al Mubarak is ensuring that the role of urban settings in climate strategies is not only recognized but also prioritized, fostering a cooperative approach to achieve resilient and sustainable urban futures.

Link to editorial.

Razan Al Mubarak’s Vision for Multilevel Climate Action Highlighted at ICLEI World Congress 2024

Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak addressed global urban leaders through a pre-recorded message at the ICLEI World Congress 2024, emphasizing the critical role of cities in addressing climate change. Cities are responsible for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, placing them at the center of climate action strategies.

At the congress, Razan highlighted the achievements of the Coalition for High Ambition Multi-Level Partnership for Climate Action (CHAMP), launched at COP28. This initiative underscores the importance of multilevel cooperation in driving effective climate responses.

Highlighting exemplary local initiatives, Razan praised the Green Areas Bank of Campinas, Brazil, and the environmental education project in Cajicá, Colombia, as models of how urban areas can contribute significantly to national climate goals.

Razan’s call to action at the congress was clear: to integrate nature-based solutions into urban planning extensively and to work collaboratively across all levels of government and society to realize a net-zero, nature-positive future by 2030.

Nature Conservation in "The Business of Philanthropy" Podcast

Razan Al Mubarak, President of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP 28, recently featured on Badr Jafar's podcast, "The Business of Philanthropy." During the insightful discussion, she emphasized the transformative role of philanthropy in addressing complex global challenges, particularly in climate change and biodiversity conservation.

In the podcast, Ms. Al Mubarak highlighted significant milestones and initiatives, such as the establishment of the Ocean Breakthroughs at COP28, which underscore the intrinsic value of nature in our climate systems. She pointed out the critical turning point at COP28, where a collective recognition of nature's central role in climate solutions was firmly acknowledged, including a commitment to end deforestation by 2030. This marks a pivotal shift towards integrating nature with global climate goals, as outlined in the UAE Consensus and the Paris Agreement.

Ms. Al Mubarak also spoke passionately about the need for a greater commitment from the philanthropic community to scale up nature-based solutions, which can potentially address up to 30% of climate mitigation needs by 2030. She stressed the importance of local community and indigenous people's involvement in these initiatives, noting their crucial role as custodians of nature.

The podcast is available on YouTube and podcast channels for those interested in deeper insights into how integrated efforts between philanthropy, government, and business can accelerate effective climate and nature conservation strategies. Razan's discussion with Badr Jafar serves as a call to action for all stakeholders to leverage their unique positions and collaborate towards a sustainable and equitable future.

Watch the full podcast here. YouTube and BuzzSprout

Turtles Returned to the Sea: Highlighting the Role of Multilevel Partnerships in Wildlife Rehabilitation

Dubai, June 12, 2024 – The Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project (DTRP) celebrated its 20th anniversary with the release of 63 rehabilitated turtles back into the ocean. This event marks a significant commitment to marine life and emphasizes the role of corporate responsibility and multilevel partnerships in environmental care.

The celebration included a panel discussion featuring global experts such as H.E. Razan Al Mubarak, President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The discussion, titled “Out of Sight is not Out of Mind: Our Collective Responsibility to Preserve our Ocean,” focused on the need for collaboration across various sectors to address the challenges facing our oceans.

Razan Al Mubarak commented on the event, noting, "While this project is focused on rehabilitation, not conservation, it underlines the importance of commitment to marine life, particularly from those affected by human activities. It shows the necessity for cooperation across governments, businesses, and communities."

The event showcased the effectiveness of collective efforts in environmental care, demonstrating how different groups can work together towards common environmental goals.

Razan Al Mubarak Champions Ocean Conservation at the MENA Oceans Summit

At the second annual MENA Oceans Summit in Dubai, Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion and President of IUCN, emphasized the essential role of oceans in sustaining environmental health and climate resilience. The summit convened key leaders to push forward ocean conservation efforts in the Middle East and North Africa.

In her address, Ms. Al Mubarak celebrated significant progress made since COP28, including the Oceans Ministerial event and the mobilization of $2.7 billion for nature finance. She outlined the Ocean Breakthroughs, a strategic initiative with clear targets to reduce emissions by up to 35% by 2050 through enhanced marine conservation, renewable ocean energy, and sustainable coastal tourism.

Highlighting the rich marine ecosystems of the Arabian Gulf and the Mediterranean, she called for greater integration of ocean-based measures into national policies as updates to Nationally Determined Contributions and National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans are due to their respective UN bodies by 2025. Ms. Al Mubarak’s call for robust collaboration underscored the upcoming global environmental events, including UNFCCC COP29 and the UN Ocean Conference in 2025, as pivotal opportunities for advancing ocean sustainability.

Her speech resonated with a clear message: “Our oceans are invaluable allies in building a resilient planet. Through international cooperation and ambitious action, we can ensure that they continue to thrive and support global ecological balance.

Razan Al Mubarak Discusses the Ocean's Role in Climate Mitigation in The National Editorial

In a recent editorial published in The National on June 7th, Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28 and President of IUCN, highlighted the vital role of oceans in combating climate change. She emphasized, "The ocean is truly the 'lungs' of the earth, absorbing a quarter of all carbon dioxide emissions and capturing 90 percent of the excess heat generated by them." This assertion underscores the ocean's critical function as the largest carbon sink and its importance in global climate mitigation strategies.

Ms. Al Mubarak addressed the significant underfunding of ocean conservation. She noted that SDG14, which focuses on the sustainable use of oceans, receives the least support among the UN Sustainable Development Goals. She called for increased funding to protect vital blue carbon ecosystems, such as mangroves, essential for carbon storage, stating, "A healthy ocean is vital to protect us from the worst impacts of climate change."

The editorial also reflected on initiatives launched at COP28, such as the Ocean Breakthroughs and the Mangrove Breakthrough, which aim to restore and protect 15 million hectares of mangroves globally by 2030. Ms. Al Mubarak urged for ongoing action and collaboration, particularly from nations in the Arabian Gulf, to leverage their rich marine biodiversity for the blue economy.

Razan Al Mubarak's editorial serves as a call to action to sustainably manage our oceans, emphasizing their pivotal role in our climate strategy. As significant global environmental milestones approach, including COP29 and the UN Ocean Conference in 2025, her message is clear: "Let’s work together to protect our best friend – and ourselves." This call to action stresses the importance of safeguarding our most significant ally in climate mitigation—the ocean—to protect our environment and our future.

Link to editorial.

World Oceans Day 2024: Navigating Towards Sustainable Ocean Management

On World Oceans Day, we recognize the profound significance of the oceans in our global climate system and their essential role in sustaining life on Earth. Covering over 70% of our planet’s surface, oceans are pivotal in regulating the global climate and supporting biodiversity.

Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28 and President of IUCN, highlights the oceans' indelible impact in a special video message. COP28 marked a significant advancement in oceanic conservation, notably with the inaugural Oceans Ministerial—a Heads of State-level event dedicated to enhancing ocean-based solutions, which saw the introduction of the Ocean Breakthroughs.

These breakthroughs provide a clear roadmap for collective action, setting ambitious targets for 2030 aimed at achieving a healthy and productive ocean by 2050. They focus on enhancing marine conservation, promoting ocean renewable energy, optimizing shipping, developing sustainable aquatic food sources, and boosting coastal tourism. Achieving these targets can potentially reduce emissions by up to 35% by 2050.

As the world gears up for significant global milestones toward the end of 2024 like the CBD COP16, G20, and UNFCCC COP29, the Ocean Breakthroughs are poised to drive collective actions to protect and sustainably manage our oceans. Razan calls for increased alignment of government and non-state actor efforts with these targets, emphasizing that our collective future depends on a resilient and thriving ocean.

Watch Razan's full message here.

On this World Oceans Day, let’s reaffirm our commitment to harnessing our planet's blue resources responsibly and ensuring a resilient future for all.

Razan Al Mubarak Advocates for Nature-Centric Climate Solutions at Bonn Climate Conference

On World Environment Day at the Bonn Climate Conference, Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, emphasized the urgency of nature conservation and restoration in her speech at the Bonn Climate Conference. Highlighting the necessity of an equitable, net-zero, and nature-positive future, she underscored the foundational role of the UAE Consensus from COP28.

The Bonn Conference, a key preparatory event for the upcoming COP29 in Baku, Azerbaijan, serves as a platform for vital discussions that will shape the global climate policy agenda. During her keynote, Ms. Al Mubarak showcased progress on commitments such as ending deforestation and integrating biodiversity into climate strategies.

She introduced the 2030 Climate Solutions, a strategic plan setting ambitious goals in areas including natural habitats, land use, and water management to enhance ecosystem resilience and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ms. Al Mubarak called for stronger governance to embed nature-based solutions in regional climate action plans, highlighting their critical role in effective climate mitigation.

Ms. Al Mubarak’s leadership continues to inspire global cooperation towards the Paris Agreement goals, emphasizing the importance of inclusive and sustainable approaches to environmental challenges. The outcomes of the Bonn Conference are expected to significantly influence the agenda at COP29, shaping the future of global climate action.

Learn more about Razan Al Mubarak at the Bonn Climate Conference here.

Razan Al Mubarak Advocates for Investment in Natural Capital in World Economic Forum

Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak recently published a compelling editorial on the World Economic Forum website in observance of World Environment Day. In her article, Ms. Al Mubarak discusses the ecological and economic imperatives of investing in natural capital, highlighting the crucial role such investments play in sustainable development.

The editorial reviews the strides made at COP28, where nearly USD $2 billion was committed to various ecosystem projects, and a global consensus was reached on reversing deforestation by 2030. These developments illustrate the growing recognition of nature's role in addressing climate challenges and enhancing global economic stability.

As the newly appointed Co-Chair of the Champions for Nature community, Ms. Al Mubarak is at the forefront of integrating nature into economic and financial planning. Her leadership aims to inspire higher environmental ambitions, change the narrative around nature, and build robust partnerships to support a sustainable economy.

Explore the full insights and depth of her analysis in the blog post available on the World Economic Forum’s website.

Link to editorial.

World Environment Day 2024: A United Approach to Land Restoration

World Environment Day draws global attention to the pressing issues of land restoration, desertification, and drought resilience, underscoring their critical impact on ecosystems and human welfare.

About a quarter of the Earth’s surface is degraded, affecting over a billion people worldwide. Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28 and President of the IUCN, addresses these challenges in a special video message. She outlines her championed initiatives that integrate nature into climate solutions, including ambitious targets like achieving zero deforestation by 2030, aligned with the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

In the video, Razan emphasizes the importance of empowering local communities and Indigenous Peoples, whose involvement is crucial for successful land restoration and building resilient communities. She advocates for radical collaboration across all sectors of society to transform degraded lands into thriving ecosystems.

Watch Razan's full message here.

Razan’s call to action is clear: unite in efforts to restore degraded lands and ensure a sustainable future for all.

Connecting COP28 and COP29: UAE Climate Champion Outlines Way Forward at Bonn Climate Change Conference

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (3 June 2024) - Her Excellency Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, is campaigning for an equitable, net-zero, resilient and nature-positive world at the Bonn Climate Change Conference this week.

The ten-day event which starts in the German city today is an important halfway point between COP28, which was held in the UAE last year, and COP29 which is taking place in Azerbaijan this November. 

Typically, the conference in Bonn features meetings of the two subsidiary bodies – the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation - which support the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The negotiations held within the subsidiary bodies usually set the agenda for COP climate meetings later in the year and significantly influence their outcome.

The Bonn conference is also the only opportunity for in-person interaction (outside of the COP climate meetings) between the governments, the high-level climate champions, and stakeholders such as regions, cities, Indigenous Peoples groups, and financing institutions, collectively known as ‘non-state actors.’ 

As the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, Ms. Al Mubarak is responsible for mobilising non-state actors around the goals of the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit levels of greenhouse gasses, and the UAE Consensus agreed to in Dubai last year.

“The UAE Consensus represents an historic breakthrough with nations agreeing to transition away from fossil fuels, tripling renewable energy capacity and focusing on energy efficiency, nature restoration, equitable finance for climate solutions, and halting deforestation by 2030,” said Ms. Al Mubarak. “These goals are ambitious and require the active engagement and commitment from all sectors of society.”

In Bonn, Ms. Al Mubarak’s key objectives will be to help strengthen the collaboration between states and non-state actors and to showcase the climate leadership of regions, cities, and civil society.

“As serious as the challenge in front of us is, there are many positive examples of non-state actors who are taking bold steps towards an equitable, climate-friendly and nature-positive world,” said Ms. Al Mubarak. “I believe these success stories deserve attention as they will inspire others to act, too.”

In addition, accelerating the leadership of cities, regions, businesses, Indigenous Peoples and civil society will give governments the confidence to set the enabling conditions for the next round of National Climate Commitments (NDCs) at COP29, said Ms. Al Mubarak. The NDCs are action plans with specific targets for reducing greenhouse emissions. The Paris Agreement obliges countries to update these climate plans every five years. The next round of NDCs are due early next year, ahead of COP30 in Belem, Brazil.