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DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates and India vowed on Saturday to make this year’s COP28 conference in Dubai a success, as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a visit to the Gulf state.

The oil-rich UAE will host the COP28 United Nations climate talks in November and December, as world nations remain far apart on means to reduce fossil fuels and reduce global warming.

“The UAE and India are united in their determination to ensure the successful outcome of COP28 as an inclusive and action-oriented conference,” read a statement following talks in Abu Dhabi between Emirati President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Modi.

The two leaders said they were “committed to enhance cooperation on climate ambition, decarbonisation and clean energy, and work together to have tangible and meaningful outcomes” at the conference, it added.

With global temperatures hitting record highs last week and countries buffeted by floods, storms and crop-withering heatwaves, the world remains far off track to meet its climate goals.

Emirati oil executive Sultan Al Jaber, who will head up the COP28 talks, has said he expects fossil fuels to continue to play a role, albeit reduced and with the use of often controversial technologies to “abate”, or neutralise, the emissions.

Last year’s climate summit in Egypt saw the creation of a new financial facility for poor countries already ravaged by impacts, but rebuffed attempts to spell out the need to ditch fossil fuels.

That same fault line will run through COP28, pitting the European Union and scores of developing countries against China, India and other emerging giants, along with the United States, the world’s largest oil and gas producer.

Modi and the UAE president also stressed the need to take into consideration “the diverse national circumstances of each nation”, the statement said, in an apparent nod to developing and emerging countries.

During the visit, Modi also met Jaber who has come under fire since his appointment as COP28 president early this year from critics who say his position as a top oil and gas executive is a conflict of interest because burning fossil fuels is by far the main driver of global warming.

Expecting 70,000 participants, double the largest COP to date, this year’s summit hopes to maintain the Paris Agreement’s goal for capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Last month UN chief Antonio Guterres slammed the world’s response to climate change.

Climate policies currently adopted will lead to average temperatures 2.8 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times by the end of the century, said the secretary-general.

Modi’s visit to the UAE, home to a large Indian community, came after trips to the United States and France where he was feted by the presidents of both countries.


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