“If there’s a country that could host COP summit successfully, it would be India”: UAE envoy

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Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement about India’s bid to host the COP33 Summit in 2028, UAE Ambassador to India, Abdulnasser Alshaali, has expressed confidence in India’s organisational prowess, asserting that India is more than capable of managing this.

In an interview with ANI, Ambassador Alshaali also drew parallels with India’s effective management of the G20 meetings and the summit.

“We had members from the COP28 team coming in and seeing how India managed the G20 meetings and summit because it’s a learning curve, and you get to see some other countries’ experience,” said Alshaali, adding, “If there is a country that could host it successfully, it would be India. I’m sure India is more than capable of managing this.”

The UAE envoy elaborated on the learning curve gained from India’s handling of the G20 summit, emphasising the invaluable experience that can be applied to the COP28 presidency. He expressed confidence that India possesses the capabilities to navigate the logistical challenges associated with hosting a major global event.

The interview touched upon the ongoing COP28 in Dubai, where Alshaali outlined significant achievements, including the operationalisation of the Loss and Damage Fund with over USD 700 million in commitments. He highlighted India’s active participation in crucial declarations related to climate, such as climate health and climate finance.

“We managed to operationalise the Loss and Damage Fund with more than USD 700 million in commitments, with USD 100 million coming from the UAE alone. We’ve had more than 130 countries sign the Food and Agriculture Declaration, more than 120 countries sign the Climate Health Declaration, and 13 countries, including India, sign the Climate Finance Declaration, among others,” he added.

Notably, India has strongly supported the decision to operationalise the Loss and Damage Fund.

Reflecting the collaboration between India and the UAE in addressing climate change, Alshaali characterised it as “strong and excellent.” He underscored the alignment of efforts between the G20 summit and the COP28 presidency, showcasing the commitment of both nations to addressing climate issues collaboratively.

“We wanted to make sure that whatever outcomes or results come out of the G20 summit translate also into certain outcomes during the COP28 presidency because there are certain overlaps,” the UAE envoy added.

Addressing the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the UAE President during COP28, Alshaali said, “They discussed all sorts of topics among them, and most importantly, the COP28 presidency and climate action.”

He also emphasised that such discussions contribute to the progression of the bilateral relationship.

On India’s invitation to the UAE President for the Gujarat Vibrant Summit, Alshaali confirmed the UAE’s participation, saying, “I can tell you that I will be there. The UAE is a partner of Vibrant Gujarat. I know that we will be represented at the highest level possible.”

PM Modi was among the global leaders who took part in the ongoing World Climate Action Summit of the Conference of Parties-28 (COP28) in the United Arab Emirates.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the high-level segment of COP28, PM Modi said India is among the few countries on course to meet the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) as part of efforts to combat climate change and proposed that the country host COP33 in 2028.

“India is committed to the UN Framework for Climate Change process. That is why, from this stage, I propose to host the COP33 Summit in India in 2028,” PM Modi said.

COP28, which stands for the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is taking place in Dubai, UAE, from November 30 to December 12 this year. 

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