His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, the UAE’s Special Envoy for Climate Change and the President-Designate for the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) has been instrumental in spearheading the UAE's green agenda, while championing the importance of the energy transition to accelerate economic growth and fulfill environmental goals.
Since his appointment as the special envoy in November 2020, a role he previously held between 2010 and 2016, Dr. Al Jaber has emerged as an architect of the UAE’s green economy initiative, supporting the country's leadership and their vision to achieve sustainable development across key industrial sectors.
Under the directive of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and the Minister of the Presidential Court, appointed Dr. Al Jaber as the President-Designate for COP28 at a pivotal time for the annual summit.
As the world faces the impact of climate change with rising energy, food and security challenges, Dr. Al Jaber is taking on the mantle at COP28 following a proactive participatory role at more than 10 previous COPs, including the historic Paris Agreement signed at COP21 in 2015.
Dr. Al Jaber is also the first CEO to serve as a President for the climate summit, following his contributions towards fostering an ecologically sustainable society in the UAE through projects he's guided in the public and private sectors.
H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, speaking at the Bloomberg ‘Emerging + Frontier Forum’ in 2022, which took place on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Since 2010, Dr. Al Jaber has served two separate terms as the Special Envoy for Climate Change, making it his mission to fulfill the country’s pledge to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050 following the 2015 Paris Agreement where the UAE became the first Middle Eastern nation to take a decisive step towards climate action.
Dr. Al Jaber has offered a pragmatic approach towards the energy transition, calling for a realistic, practical and economically viable plan to deliver climate progress, energy security and economic growth at the same time.
"Progressive climate action is not only necessary, it can also be a powerful economic driver, and if we do it right, it can actually put the world on a new low carbon/high growth development trajectory. So we need to start looking at the climate challenge as an opportunity,” Dr. Al Jaber said in 2021, in a conversation with Fred Kempe, the president and CEO the Atlantic Council.
“To meet current and future energy needs, the world needs all the solutions it can get. It is not hydrocarbons or solar, not wind or nuclear or hydrogen. It is all of the above, plus the clean energies yet to be discovered, commercialized, and deployed. In short, the world needs maximum energy and minimum emissions,”
"This is the approach we are taking in the UAE. It is why our leadership decided to be a first mover in renewable energy and why we were the first country in the region to deploy nuclear power. We also realize that progress is powered by partnership, and we are collaborating with other nations to make the current energy system cleaner while investing in the clean energies of tomorrow.”
With the UAE hosting COP28 from November 30 to December 12, 2023 at Expo City Dubai, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber will play an integral role in leading a global climate agenda that is in line with the country’s own commitment towards sustainable development. His tasks will include working with international governments, key stakeholders and civil society to lay a roadmap that will drive practical solutions to bring long-term socioeconomic benefits to a global landscape.
“This will be a critical year in a critical decade for climate action. The UAE is approaching COP28 with a strong sense of responsibility and the highest possible level of ambition,” Dr. Al Jaber noted while commenting on his appointment as President of COP28.
“In cooperation with the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) and the COP27 Presidency, we will champion an inclusive agenda that ramps up action on mitigation, encourages a just energy transition that leaves no one behind, ensures substantial, affordable climate finance is directed to the most vulnerable, accelerates funding for adaptation and builds out a robust funding facility to address loss and damage,” he stated.
Dr. Al Jaber will develop this COP28 agenda, in partnership with the UNFCCC’s Executive Secretary Simon Stiell and the Egyptian COP27 President Sameh Shoukry, while also closely working with Her Excellency Shamma Al Mazrui, who will serve as the Youth Climate Champion at the summit, along with Her Excellency Razan Al Mubarak, who will serve as the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion. The team will be further supported by Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri, the UAE’s Minister of Climate Change and Environment.
This is a crucial year for the annual climate summit as the first Global Stocktake (GST) review since the Paris Agreement will determine the world’s collective progress towards achieving its long-term goals. The UAE will spearhead a process for all parties to agree upon a clear roadmap to accelerate progress through a pragmatic global energy transition and a ‘leave no one behind’ approach to inclusive climate action.
“COP28 will undertake the first ever Global Stocktake since the Paris Agreement. The GST will provide the foundation to build momentum for this and future COPs and the UAE will look for an ambitious outcome in response to the GST from the negotiation process,” Dr. Al Jaber said. “This will be a critical moment to mobilize political will to respond to what the science tells us will need to be achieved to remain on target and limit global warming to 1.5C by 2050.”
Commenting further, Dr. Al Jaber also spoke of a "pragmatic, realistic and solutions-oriented approach" to achieve success on this path.
“I sincerely believe that climate action today is an immense economic opportunity for investment in sustainable growth. Finance is the key that can unlock climate action and the UAE is committed to supporting and facilitating the review of the international financial institutions to scale up public financing, leverage private finance and improve access,” he added.
H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, commenting following his appointment as the President-Designate for COP28, which will be hosted by the UAE in 2023.
Dr. Al Jaber has dedicated his life to public service, taking on a more active role since his appointment to the UAE Federal Cabinet in 2013, where he served as the Minister of State until July 2020. Dr. Al Jaber used his extensive knowledge of working in the private and public sectors to oversee, develop and nurture partnerships with nations to further advance the UAE’s economic growth, before taking over as the Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology that same year.
In his current ministerial role, Dr. Al Jaber is focusing his efforts on expanding the industrial development infrastructure of the UAE in a bid to promote economic growth by using technology as a key driver. To further position the UAE as a competitive force on a global scale, Dr. Al Jaber is also fueling economic diversification and integrating different sectors to help enhance the UAE’s industrial foundation.
Speaking at the annual UAE government meetings in November 2022, Dr. Al Jaber said the future will be focused on achieving comprehensive Emirati industrial action led by major national development sectors. The aim is to create an appropriate economic system and promote public-private partnerships that boost the UAE’s stature as a global capital of future industries.
Dr. Al Jaber further stated that the UAE has succeeded in strengthening its stature as a destination for Revolution industries and developing the industrial sector, through the ‘Make it in the Emirates’ initiative, as well as developing its digital infrastructure, promoting the use of technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and boosting the capacities and competitive advantages that double the contribution of the national industrial sector and advanced technology.
Under his watch, the ministry is also putting in place critical enablers to achieve this vision by working with industry veterans and creating an ecosystem to support SMEs in further stimulating economic growth.
Dr. Al Jaber spent more than a decade laying the foundation for the UAE's green agenda as the CEO of the Energy platform at Mubadala, Abu Dhabi government's strategic investment arm.
Two years into his role, Dr. Al Jaber helped establish Masdar in 2006, the Abu Dhabi-based future energy company, which focuses on clean energy and sustainable development. During his seven-year tenure as the CEO of Masdar, Dr. Al Jaber deployed large-scale renewable energy projects across the globe, including Abu Dhabi, with its flagship project being Masdar City, a low-carbon, low-waste development that employs sustainable and cutting-edge urban planning techniques. The project has drawn global acclaim and become a blueprint for future developments that are looking towards a sustainable approach.
In 2009, Dr. Al Jaber also led Masdar’s participation in the UAE’s successful bid to host the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi. In the same year, he was invited by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to serve as a member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change (AGECC), which supported the formation of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) program that calls for ‘affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all’ by 2030.
Dr. Al Jaber continues to serve as Chairman of Masdar, guiding it as a facilitator of the UAE’s sustainable programs. “Globally, we see a bright future for the renewable energy sector as at least $3 trillion will be invested in renewable energy over the next 10 years. Through Masdar alone, we have invested in solar and wind energy projects in 40 countries around the world,” Dr. Al Jaber revealed this while speaking at 2022’s Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
A large part of this has been facilitated following a strategic partnership spearheaded under Dr. Al Jaber in December 2011 where, under the direction of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and the Ruler of Abu Dhabi, three of the largest energy companies in the UAE entered into a strategic partnership to consolidate Masdar's position and turn it into a global leader in the field of clean energy.
"Thanks to this partnership, Masdar doubled its total renewable energy capacity, and our ambition is to build on these solid foundations and reach 100 gigawatts, and then double it to 200 gigawatts,” Dr. Al Jaber further explained. “This represents a massive opportunity, and the UAE and Masdar extend an open invitation to all our partners, public and private, to join us on this ambitious journey. This growth will contribute to creating job opportunities, new sectors and skills, and opening a new door of hope for present and future generations.”
Dr. Al Jaber also spoke about investing in renewables at 2022’s ADIPEC conference in Abu Dhabi, explaining the rationale behind the Partnership for Accelerating Clean Energy (PACE) initiative that the UAE signed with the US.
"Together we will source and catalyze $100 billion of investment in technologies to decarbonize the energy the world relies on today while scaling up investment in zero-carbon energies in both our countries and in emerging economies around the world. This means renewables, it means hydrogen, and it also means nuclear energy, including small modular reactors. In other words, a balanced portfolio of solutions aimed at leveraging all available options to deliver the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time,” he said.
Under a new partnership with TAQA, Mubadala and ADNOC, Masdar is poised to become one of the largest renewable energy investors in the world with an ambitious target of growing to at least 100GW of renewable energy capacity globally by 2030.
In 2008, Dr. Al Jaber also established the Zayed Future Energy Prize, which recognizes excellence in sustainability by attracting practical ideas that can help populations around the world.
Now renamed as the Zayed Sustainability Prize, the $3 million award has directly and indirectly transformed the lives of more than 370 million people around the world, focusing on humanitarian outreach and sustainable development. Each winner in the Health, Food, Energy, and Water categories receive US$600,000 to expand the scope and scale of their sustainability solution(s). The Global High Schools category has six winners, representing six world regions, with each winner receiving up to US$100,000.
“The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan instilled in the UAE a commitment to inclusive sustainable and humanitarian development, and the Zayed Sustainability Prize continues to honor his legacy by turning this commitment into action. For the past 14 years, the Prize has accelerated the deployment of practical yet sustainable solutions that have positively transformed the lives of over 370 million people,” Dr. Al Jaber said in a statement ahead of the January 2023 ceremony.
“The Zayed Sustainability Prize has played an important role in supporting the UAE’s vision to drive inclusive climate action. The prize will continue to amplify the UAE’s track record of supporting sustainable innovation across the world and driving progress toward empowering entities and schools who are contributing to global development,” he added.
Since being named Group CEO of ADNOC in 2016, Dr. Al Jaber led a rapid and comprehensive transformation of the company under the guidance of the UAE leadership.
He has helped usher in a program to improve efficiency, integrate multiple business lines, boost ADNOC's overall performance, and foster a more commercial mindset, resulting in substantial associated cost savings.
Dr. Al Jaber has also led ADNOC through a number of strategic achievements, such as entering the global capital markets for the first time and the first ever IPO of an ADNOC subsidiary, including ADNOC Drilling and Fetriglobe. His business plan has facilitated in a significant amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) from private equity investors, which will encourage smart growth throughout ADNOC's upstream, mid-stream, and downstream value chains. In particular, he has led the expansion of a first-in-the-region carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) program at ADNOC’s Al Reyadah facility. The facility currently captures 800,000 tons of CO2 annually, with a plan to expand over 500 per cent by 2030 to capture 5 million tons of CO2 annually.
Dr. Al Jaber has turned his focus towards ADNOC's digital transformation as well, driving the company’s 2030 strategy towards a gas supply that is more sustainable, valuable downstream, and profitable up-stream.
To ensure that ADNOC stays ahead of the global energy demand and continues to be a significant economic contributor to the UAE, Dr. Al Jaber has further prioritized the implementation of cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, and Blockchain to achieve this goal.
The company recently also signed a landmark agreement with Emirates Water and Electricity Company that will see ADNOC utilize the latter’s clean energy resources from 2023.
Over the years, his roles as the Chairman of Masdar and the Managing Director and Group CEO of ADNOC, have been a facilitator in spearheading the UAE’s clean energy plan through renewable projects that are serving as a blueprint to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the country.
Dr. Al Jaber’s leadership is also guiding ADNOC in taking the necessary steps to decarbonize its operations through its ‘maximum energy, minimum emissions’ protocol, which has seen the company announce a $15 billion investment over five years in its decarbonization strategy and its new low carbon solutions business, as it delivers on its target to reduce its carbon intensity by 25 per cent by 2030 and its ambition to reach Net Zero by 2050. The company has also been sourcing 100 per cent of ADNOC’s grid power from zero carbon nuclear and solar power energy, while further electrifying its offshore operations to cut its carbon footprint in half. ADNOC is looking ahead at a reduction in methane intensity, despite already having one of the lowest levels in the industry.
Dr. Al Jaber is focusing on the emerging hydrogen market as well and has announced multiple initiatives to ramp up the hydrogen infrastructure in the UAE, with expanded investments in zero carbon energies, including wind and solar.
Under Dr. Al Jaber’s leadership, ADNOC has invested in carbon capture and green hydrogen projects, while committing to power its operations through renewable energy sources in the foreseeable future. The company plans a large-scale production of hydrogen fuel as a clean energy alternative to replace oil exports.
Commenting on the role of zero-carbon fuels such as hydrogen in the next 20 years, with the Atlantic Council in 2021, Dr. Al Jaber explained: “At ADNOC, we are well positioned to leverage our existing gas infrastructure and commercial-scale CCUS capabilities to develop blue hydrogen. In addition, we are exploring green hydrogen through the Abu Dhabi Hydrogen Alliance, bringing together key energy and industrial players in the UAE.
“We recognize that the key to developing the hydrogen economy of the future will be aligning supply and demand, and developing the value chain connecting suppliers with customers in key markets. So, we are identifying viable international market opportunities and developing a roadmap to create a hydrogen ecosystem to serve both the UAE and the global market.”
During his ADIPEC opening address, Dr. Al Jaber also spoke in detail about decarbonizing ADNOC’s operations, while planning ahead for future generations.
The world needs maximum energy, minimum emissions. This is why our leadership decided to be a first mover in renewable energy, over 16 years ago by launching Masdar. It’s why we were the first country in the region to deploy nuclear power. And it is why ADNOC is making today’s energy cleaner while investing in the clean energies of tomorrow.”
H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber speaking at the Munich Security Conference in 2022.
Dr. Sultan Al Jaber is an Emirati national born on August 31st, 1973, in the United Arab Emirates. He is married and has four children. Dr. Al Jaber obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Southern California in the United States of America. He also holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Business and Economics from Coventry University in the United Kingdom, as well as a Master of Business Administration degree from the California State University in Los Angeles.
Dr. Al Jaber has received various awards over his decades of public service, including the 2012 United Nations flagship Champions of the Earth honor, given to outstanding visionaries and leaders in the fields of policy, science and entrepreneurship. Since its launch in 2005, the annual award has recognized 88 laureates, ranging from heads of state to grassroots activists.
In 2013, Dr. Al Jaber was appointed as an honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) by the late Queen Elizabeth II.
In 2019, Dr. Al Jaber also received a lifetime achievement award from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for his contributions to energy security, building bridges to emerging Asian economies and for reshaping traditional energy business models.
In 2021, Dr. Al Jaber was named Energy Executive of the Year by the Energy Intelligence Forum for leadership and innovation shown in the industry.
The award recognized Dr. Al Jaber’s role in mapping a path of modernization for national oil companies, with the industry veteran elected by the leaders of the world’s top energy companies and is the 25th winner of this distinguished honor. “Dr. Al Jaber has distinguished himself as an innovator at a time of great change,” said Raja Sidawi, Chairman and Chief Executive of Energy Intelligence. “He has reimagined ADNOC’s operations, it's strategy and it's culture.”
Dr. Al Jaber holds a PhD in business and economics from Coventry University in the UK, along with an MBA from the California State University in Los Angeles. He also holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Southern California in the US.
Dr. Al Jaber begins his career as a process and planning engineer at ADNOC Gas Processing (formerly known as Gasco), where he works on several key gas-related projects over five years.
Dr. Al Jaber takes on the role as senior projects manager for Mubadala’s Energy and Industry unit. He plays an instrumental role in the success of the Mukhaizna enhanced oil recovery project in Oman, which raises production from 9,000 to 125,000 barrels of oil per day.
Named CEO of the Energy platform at Mubadala, it is during this time that Dr. Al Jaber helps establish Masdar, an Abu Dhabi-based future energy company, which focuses on clean energy and sustainable development. During his seven-year tenure as the CEO of Masdar, Dr. Al Jaber deploys several large-scale renewable energy projects across the globe, including Abu Dhabi, with its flagship project being Masdar City, a low-carbon, low-waste development that draws praise globally.
In the same year, he is invited by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to serve as a member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change (AGECC).
In addition, Dr. Al Jaber is named Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Ports Company, a position he retains for a decade. During his tenure, Dr. Al Jaber oversees the completion of Khalifa Port, Abu Dhabi’s flagship deep water port, as well as the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), Abu Dhabi’s first integrated trade, industrial and logistics free zone.
Dr. Al Jaber is named UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change, completing a six-year term before returning to the position in November 2020.
Dr. Al Jaber also receives an Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy from India’s TERI University, the Delhi based university that specializes in the field of sustainable development.
Dr. Al Jaber is selected by the UN Secretary General to serve as a member of the High-Level Group on Sustainable Energy for All.
Dr. Al Jaber receives the United Nations flagship Champions of the Earth award, given to outstanding visionaries and leaders in the fields of policy, science and entrepreneurship.
Dr. Al Jaber is appointed to the UAE Federal Cabinet, where he serves as the Minister of State until July 2020, using his extensive knowledge of working in the private and public sectors to oversee, develop and nurture partnerships with nations to further advance the UAE’s economic strategy.
Dr. Al Jaber is appointed as an honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) by the late Queen Elizabeth II.
In the same year, Dr. Al Jaber also receives Mauritania's Medal of the National Order of Merit, given by the President in appreciation for Masdar’s commitment to accelerating the global adoption of renewable energy and sustainable development.
Dr. Al Jaber is appointed Chairman of Masdar.
While retaining his chairmanship at Masdar, Dr. Al Jaber is appointed Group CEO and Managing Director of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, where he implements a rapid and comprehensive transformation at the direction of the UAE leadership.
Over the course of his leadership, he has attracted close to $26 billion in international investment from companies such as BlackRock, Eni, and KKR.
Dr. Al Jaber has also guided the company through its first ever IPO of an ADNOC business (ADNOC Distribution) and attracting significant FDI from strategic and private equity investors to stimulate smart growth across ADNOC’s upstream, midstream and downstream value chain.
Dr. Al Jaber has also led a digital transformation at the company, prioritizing the adoption of breakthrough technologies to ensure ADNOC stays ahead of global energy demand.
Dr. Al Jaber serves as Chairman of the UAE National Media Council from 2016 to 2020, where he leads an organizational and governance restructure, guiding the media sector’s development in the digital and social media age.
Dr. Al Jaber receives a lifetime achievement award from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his contributions to energy security, building bridges to emerging Asian economies and for reshaping traditional energy business models.
Dr. Al Jaber is appointed as Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology in July, overseeing efforts to further expand the industrial development of the UAE, and in particular promote in country value, while leveraging technology as a key enabler.
In July, Dr. Al Jaber is also appointed Chairman of Emirates Development Bank, a key partner in providing financial services for the sustainable economic and social development of the UAE.
In November 2020, Dr. Al Jaber is named UAE special envoy for climate change.
Dr. Al Jaber is also Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Mohammed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, the World’s first graduate-level, research based AI University. He serves on the board of Emirates Global Aluminum-the fifth largest aluminum company in the world.
In January, Dr. Al Jaber is named top CEO in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as in the UAE and the global oil and gas sector, by Brand Finance, the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy, in his capacity as the Managing Director and CEO of ADNOC Group.
Dr. Al Jaber is the highest ranked CEO outside the US and China.
Dr. Al Jaber gives a historic address on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September, joined world leaders, ministers, and experts where he stresses on the need for a just, affordable, and successful energy transition to drive both economic growth and climate action.
Speaking during the opening address of ADIPEC in November, Dr. Al Jaber stresses on the importance of sustainability economies. “We need to hold back emissions, not progress. The world is looking for solutions and I believe the energy industry can unite a divided world in finding them. I believe that the future is forged by those who make the first move. So today, I extend an open invitation to all our partners and friends around the world. Let’s make that move together and forge that future.”
Strategically positioned as the UAE’s Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and the country’s special envoy for climate change, Dr. Al Jaber continues to use his voice to counsel on issues pertaining to green economy development, sustainable energy and climate action.
In January, Dr. Al Jaber is named President-Designate of for the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) under the directive of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi. At the annual climate summit, taking place at Expo City, Dubai from November 30 until December 12, Dr. Al Jaber will play a crucial role in leading the intergovernmental process, building consensus and driving ambitious climate outcomes with a broad range of partners including business and civil society.
COP28 President-Designate Dr. Sultan Al Jaber at The World Government Summit 2023