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Gulf Briefing: COP28 needs to 'deliver results'

This week we have the UAE preparing for the COP28 climate summit, updates on the Qatari-mediated Gaza Strip hostage deal, Houthi threats in the Red Sea and more.
Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani (C) and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) in Doha - Jacquelyn Martin/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Scientists expect with near certainty that 2023 will be the warmest year on record. Current government commitments to climate action would put the world on track for temperatures to rise up to 2.9C above pre-industrial levels, a UN report found last Monday. 

US President Joe Biden will not attend the 2023 United Nations climate summit that begins on Thursday in Dubai. COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber is “cautiously optimistic” that the talks will be successful and reaffirmed that “everyone needs to be part” of the talks, including the fossil fuel sector and heavy emitting industries. “We need to deliver results,” said the event's director Majid Al Suwaidi. But activists accused the Gulf country of “pushing an agenda to distract attention from a fossil fuel phase-out.”

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Emirates became the world’s first airline to operate an A380 demonstration flight with one of four engines using 100% sustainable aviation fuel, which is currently capped at a blending limit of 50% with fossil fuel-based jet fuel. 

Human rights concerns 

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