India, France, UAE announce climate cooperation, amid outcry over COP28 hosts
India, France and the United Arab Emirates on Saturday agreed on a trilateral initiative to undertake energy projects with a focus on solar and nuclear sources, fight climate change and protect biodiversity, particularly in the Indian Ocean region.
The countries will organise trilateral events in the framework of the Indian presidency of the Group of 20 rich and developing nations, and the UAE's hosting of COP28 climate negotiations this year, said a statement by India's external affairs ministry.
The foreign ministers of the three countries through a phone call decided to adopt a roadmap for the implementation of the initiative.
The call was a follow-up of their September meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
They will expand their cooperation through initiatives such as the Mangrove Alliance for Climate, led by the UAE, and the Indo-Pacific Parks Partnership led by India and France.
It was agreed that the three countries should focus on key issues such as single-use plastic pollution, desertification and food security in the context of the International Year of Millets, the statement said.
They agreed to explore the possibility of working with the Indian Ocean Rim Association to pursue projects on clean energy, the environment and biodiversity.
The association is a regional forum bringing together representatives of government, business and academia from South Africa, India, Mauritius, Australia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Tanzania and some other countries.
They will seek to ensure greater alignment of their respective economic, technological and social policies with the objectives of the 2015 Paris Agreement to combat climate change and to accelerate actions and investments needed for a sustainable low-carbon future, the statement said.
Set to host the COP28 climate talks, the UAE is a leading crude producer and one of the world's biggest polluters per capita. It argues that oil remains indispensable to the global economy.
It is pushing the merits of carbon capture – removing carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, as fuel is burned or from the air.
In January, the UAE named Sultan Al-Jaber, chief executive of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), to head the crucial COP28 climate meeting in November.
The move sparked an outcry from activists, as Al-Jaber is the first CEO to take the role at the UN summit.