As the world gathers in Dubai this week for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), we do so against the backdrop of an unprecedented year of worldwide extreme weather events and record-breaking heat. The challenges we confront are daunting, and they demand our collective resolve, but they also require us to continue to foster a sense of hope that propels us forward in the fight against one of the greatest existential threats of our time.
Let me share a few reasons for hope as we confront the climate crisis:
Science and Innovation: Science has never been more advanced. At NOAA, we have a deeper understanding of the Earth's systems than ever before, including how they act and interact. Innovations in renewable energy, carbon capture and sustainability are within our grasp. Thanks to historic investments in renewables and green technology, we have the resources and tools to make a real impact as we advance these solutions.
Youth and Activism: The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. The enthusiasm, determination, knowledge, and activism of the younger generation have ignited a global movement demanding action on climate change. They remind us that the future is not lost and that we must strive for a world that is sustainable, just and equitable for all.
Global Collaboration: COP28 is a testament to the power of global collaboration. Countries, organizations and thousands of individuals from around the world are convening to collectively address climate change. When we are committed together, our determination is uncompromising.
Hope is not a passive sentiment — it is a call to action. It reminds us that we are not helpless in the face of climate change. NOAA is in every community in the U.S., committed to working hand-in-hand with partners locally to build a ‘climate-ready nation’ and to sharing these best practices globally. No matter the need, people know they can turn to us for reliable, easy-to-use climate and extreme weather information to help make informed decisions that help save lives and livelihoods.
As the Administrator of NOAA, as a scientist and as a concerned citizen, I know that our agency is committed to continuing vital work in climate research and prediction, supporting sustainable practices and sharing knowledge with the world. And I know that it is equally essential for all of us to play our part.
In the spirit of international collaboration that powers COP28, let us remember that there is hope, and it’s a powerful force that drives change. Let it motivate us to make bold and ambitious commitments, to hold ourselves accountable and to work tirelessly to combat climate change every day.