During Climate Week and the UN General Assembly in September, Razan Al Mubarak championed initiatives to address climate change and biodiversity loss at a series of seminal events in New York City.
Ms. Al Mubarak started her week off in New York at a panel discussion on conserving, restoring, and sustainably using nature, aimed at securing the highest level of commitment from global leaders to an ambitious biodiversity framework at COP15. Held this coming December in Montreal, the COP15 talks aim to give biodiversity the same international protection as the climate. In an address that encouraged optimism, Ms. Al Mubarak highlighted the importance of establishing more protected areas, calling for at least 30 percent of land and marine territories to be set aside by 2030–50 percent by 2050.
“There is overwhelming evidence that conservation works where measures are effective and sustained,” said Ms. Al Mubarak. “Indeed, absent these efforts, trends in species extinction risk would be at least 20% worse. We have an amazing and resilient planet – it will heal if we let it.”
Ms. Al Mubarak was also a panelist that addressed doing business in a changing world. She championed an integrated approach to the climate crisis as the world faces multiple simultaneous threats – a global pandemic, a biodiversity crisis, a water crisis, and an energy crisis. In her remarks, Ms. Al Mubarak prioritized the importance of reversing biodiversity loss, and championed nature-based solutions to address the climate and biodiversity crises.
“When it comes to climate change,” she added, “nature-based solutions have the potential to supply up to 37 percent of climate change mitigation needs and create many more green jobs per million dollars invested than industries such as coal, oil and gas.”
To cap off a busy week, Ms. Al Mubarak took part in a multi-stakeholder panel discussion on the pivotal role of renewable energy. There in her capacity as a representative from the UAE, she spoke about the country’s bold net-zero ambition by 2050, touting it as an effort to limit emissions, not progress. She highlighted the UAE’s commitment to ramp up renewables like solar and wind, energy efficiency, and clean technologies like hydrogen, and its practical plan to assure both economic and environmental well-being.
Looking forward, Ms. Al Mubarak eagerly anticipates her participation in the first-ever IUCN Council meeting to be hosted in Abu Dhabi, in her homeland of the United Arab Emirates, and the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to be hosted in Dubai in November 2023.