Iceland: Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, COP28 President and UAE Minister of Industry & Advanced Technology, has delivered a keynote speech at the 2023 Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik, Iceland. The President has emphasized the critical threat of climate change to fragile Arctic ecosystems.
“For the last 10 years, the Arctic Circle has been leading the conversation around the impact of the climate on fragile Arctic ecosystems,” Dr. Al Jaber told delegates.
“This group has alerted the world to the fact that the Arctic is warming around four times faster than the rest of the planet,” Dr. Al Jaber added.
The Arctic Circle Assembly is the largest annual international gathering in the Arctic, with over 2,000 attendees from more than 60 countries. It encompasses the Chairman of the Arctic Circle, Mr. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson; the Prime Minister of Iceland, Mr. Katrín Jakobsdóttir; Denmark’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Lars Lokke Rasmussen; policymakers from other nations; indigenous leaders, scientists, activists, and representatives from business, civil society, and other stakeholders.
The event will feature more than 700 speakers and 200 sessions, with a major focus on climate change and energy security. COP28 has set a global goal of tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030.
The COP28 President also called for a “massive scale-up in climate finance,” including delivering on the $100 billion pledge to developing nations, recharging the Green Climate Fund, doubling adaptation finance, and operationalizing loss and damage funds.
The President also stressed the importance of multilateral development bank reform to make climate finance more available, accessible, and affordable and for market mechanisms to incentivize more private-sector finance.
During the speech, Dr. Sultan praised Iceland for “pioneering geothermal energy to build the world’s largest direct air capture facility in the world.”