H.E. Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, advocated for nature and the inclusion of women and indigenous communities at the UN Climate Change Conference that took place in Dubai, UAE from 30 November to 13 December 2023.
During the COP28 World Climate Action Summit Presidency event, Ms. Al Mubarak announced initial total commitments of more than $1 billion to support nature-climate projects, including the UAE's strategic $100 million investment with a focus on the world’s largest forest basins across South America, Africa and Southeast Asia.
“Today we witnessed a pivotal shift towards integrating nature into our climate strategies. This summit marked a turning point, where we collectively recognized the indispensable contribution of nature not only to our climate system but also to its profound, intangible value to our communities and cultures.
“Nature is not just an ally; it's a powerful force capable of providing more than 30% of our mitigation needs by 2030. Nature Day calls on all of us – leaders, policymakers, communities, and individuals alike – to acknowledge and amplify nature's role in our climate strategy. It's a day to recommit to protecting and nurturing the environment that sustains every aspect of our lives.”
In addition, Ms. al Mubarak announced the launch of the COP28 Gender-Responsive Just Transition and Climate Action Partnership. In a speech, she stated that “climate change is not gender neutral,” recognizing that women and girls make up the majority of the world’s poor and that, despite this, and maybe because of it, they are at the forefront of climate action.
Ms. Al Mubarak also participated in the first ever Indigenous Peoples Day to be observed at a climate conference, recognizing the importance of acknowledging and honoring their remarkable contributions to safeguarding our planet:
“Indigenous peoples’ stewardship of lands rich in biodiversity, acting as critical carbon sinks, is indispensable in the fight against climate change, and indigenous leadership in managing vital lands has demonstrated unparalleled effectiveness in maintaining biodiversity and curbing deforestation.”
Ms. Al Mubarak ended the 10-day conference with a call to recognize and integrate the value of nature into the negotiated texts and climate actions, saying that “the significance of this day extends beyond the conference halls; it resonates with each of us on a personal and global level.”