UAE President honours IEA Executive Director for contributions to major COP28 outcomes

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President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan commends Dr Fatih Birol at ceremony in Abu Dhabi, recognising IEA’s exceptional support leading to the key agreement at COP28

United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan this week presented IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol with the First Class Order of Zayed II, the UAE’s highest civil decoration, at a ceremony in Abu Dhabi, recognising the IEA’s tireless efforts to support and guide governments and other stakeholders towards achieving significant outcomes at the COP28 climate conference in Dubai in December. 

At the ceremony, President Sheikh Mohammed congratulated Dr Birol for bringing countries together and providing substantive input from IEA analysis to underpin the major COP28 commitments on energy, which formed a central part of what has become known as the UAE Consensus. He noted that the IEA was crucial to mobilising global cooperation ahead of the summit, including by co-convening a series of high-level energy transition dialogues with energy and climate leaders in the lead-up to COP28. The dialogues focused on building consensus around pathways to limit global warming to 1.5 °C, a key goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement. 

The IEA also led the calls for many of the biggest energy commitments made by nearly 200 countries in Dubai, including the 2030 pledges to triple global renewable power capacity, double the pace of energy efficiency improvements, substantially reduce methane emissions and accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels in a just, orderly and equitable manner.

Several other prominent figures were also recognised for their contributions at the ceremony, including former US Special Presidential Climate Envoy John Kerry; Denmark’s Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy Dan Jørgensen; Egypt’s Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad; and World Bank President Ajay Banga.

“Receiving this recognition from President Sheikh Mohammed is a huge honour that I share with my colleagues in the International Energy Agency. The energy commitments made at COP28 in Dubai marked a major step forward – and I cannot overstate how important they are to reaching the world’s energy and climate goals,” Dr Birol said. “I am proud that the IEA’s data, analysis, policy advice and convening power helped inform this crucial result. We look forward to continuing to work with countries around the world to deliver on the COP28 outcomes, leading efforts to closely track global progress, and encouraging even greater ambition. COP28 showed that through strong international cooperation, we can take meaningful steps towards a more secure and sustainable energy system.”

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