UAE Presidency To Convene World-Leading Economists Meet Ahead of COP28 

COP28 UAE will take place at Expo City Dubai from November 30-December 12, 2023. The Conference is expected to convene over 70,000 participants, including heads of state, government officials, international industry leaders, private sector representatives, academics, experts, youth, and non-state actors.

The COP28 Presidency has now announced that it would convene the Independent High-Level Expert Group (IHLEG) on Climate Finance in the UAE this week to drive progress on steps to reform international finance ahead of COP28. The two-day meeting from August 15-16 to be held at the Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM), will bring together world-leading economists, private sector leaders, the COP28 Presidency and UN Climate Change High-Level Champions.

The IHLEG develops and presents policy options and recommendations to enable the public and private investment necessary for delivery of the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement. It is chaired by Dr. Vera Songwe and Professor Lord Nicholas Stern, and Dr Amar Bhattacharya serves as executive secretary.

The discussions are designed to prepare the ground for COP28 and ensure that the two-week summit delivers tangible action on reform of international finance.

The IHLEG will evaluate progress on the climate finance landscape and develop a roadmap of actions needed up to, and during, COP28 and beyond to COP29 and COP30. The ultimate goal of IHLEG is to advance a holistic financial framework for resource mobilization to deliver an equitable and efficient climate finance system, as set out in the Paris Agreement and Glasgow Pact, and start its implementation.

The IHLEG will build the action agenda that emerged from the Paris Summit, as well as on the ongoing work on MDB reform at G20. The group will also explore overcoming geopolitical constraints and identifying gaps and barriers that may necessitate targeted interventions.

The meeting will be attended by Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM); Lord Nicholas Stern and Dr Vera Songwe, co-chairs of the IHLEG, and Amar Bhattacharya, executive secretary of the IHLEG, Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the IMF, senior representatives from the World Bank as well as other economists from across the world.

Commenting on the significance of the IHLEG meeting Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of the ADDED and ADGM said, “We are proud to host the Independent High Level Expert Group meeting in Abu Dhabi this year and collaborate with global experts in forging a path towards a greener, more sustainable future that focusses on ‘Climate Finance’. Concrete actions by Abu Dhabi and its entities such as ADDED and ADGM are defining the new architecture for financing sustainability. Our goal is simple and direct – to drive capital towards projects that advance the transition to a net-zero future.”

IHLEG will launch a final report on this matter at COP28 and will establish an engagement plan of actions with crucial stakeholders involved in executing the roadmap during the conference.

The COP28 UAE Presidency has named ‘fixing climate finance’ one of its four priority action pillars for COP28, alongside fast-tracking the energy transition, ensuring full inclusivity, addressing lives and livelihoods. 


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