Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, the Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, expressed the UAE’s dedication to enhancing cooperation among Middle East and North Africa MENA nations. This commitment aims to elevate climate ambitions by reducing carbon emissions, strengthening climate adaptation efforts, and reallocating climate financing and investments to foster sustainable development.
During her attendance at the Middle East and North Africa Climate Week (MENACW 2023) in Riyadh, Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, alongside a delegation from the Ministry of Climate Change and the Environment, made this statement. The event, hosted by the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, was organized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and took place from the 8th to the 12th of October.
In her address, Almheiri highlighted the significance of the MENA Nations Climate Week, especially considering the imminent start of COP28 in the UAE, with just 53 days left. She emphasized that the event’s purpose is to foster the exchange of visions and solutions, laying the groundwork for more in-depth discussions during the conference. It’s worth noting that COP28 will include the inaugural Global Stock Take.
Almheiri emphasized that MENA nations collectively face significant challenges due to the repercussions of climate change. To address these challenges effectively and enhance their capacity to cope with climate-related changes, urgent solutions are imperative. She articulated the UAE’s stance, emphasizing the need for expeditious action to spearhead an equitable and fair energy transition across the region. This transition involves replacing conventional energy systems with clean, renewable alternatives while safeguarding future energy security.
Furthermore, Almheiri highlighted the significance of the COP28 Food Systems and Agriculture Agenda, recognizing these systems as crucial climate resilience and adaptation solutions for many nations worldwide, particularly in the MENA nations region. These techniques also contribute to the decrease of global CO2 emissions. She underscored the UAE’s proactive approach in this regard, including the launch of the Emirates Declaration on Resilient Food Systems, Sustainable Agriculture, and Climate Action in July. She noted that an initial draft of the declaration was shared with agriculture ministers globally for their input, and the finalized declaration is slated for submission to world leaders for endorsement.
The Minister of Climate Change and Environment of the UAE extended a call to all GCC agriculture ministers, urging them to endorse and support the Emirates Declaration on Resilient Food Systems, Sustainable Agriculture, and Climate Action. Additionally, she extended an invitation to them to participate in two collaborative initiatives: the ‘Agriculture Innovation for Climate’ initiative, created in partnership with the United States, and the ‘Mangrove Alliance for Climate,’ established in collaboration with Indonesia. These initiatives aim to facilitate the development of climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions.
Almheiri also took part in a Ministerial Panel themed “Advancing Towards a Global Goal on Adaptation for a 1.5-degree World.” The panel featured distinguished attendees including Dr. Rola Dashti, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA); Adel bin Ahmad Al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Climate Envoy; Yasmine Fouad, Egypt’s Minister of Environment; Aminath Shauna, Minister of the Environment, Climate Change, and Technology of the Maldives; and Leila Chikhaoui, Minister of the Environment of Tunisia.
During the panel, Almheiri highlighted the inherent unfairness and injustice of climate change consequences, as they disproportionately affect certain communities over others. This underscores the imperative need for inclusivity in our united response to the climate crisis. She reaffirmed the UAE’s commitment to leaving no one behind and ensuring that every voice is considered.
“Throughout COP28, our aim is to leverage this platform to foster more extensive discourse on international collaboration, capacity-building, and the additional measures required to provide support to developing nations and the most vulnerable among us,” Almheiri elaborated.
She emphasized that technology and financing play pivotal roles in attaining this objective. This involves sharing technological solutions and facilitating their extensive implementation. Additionally, it entails establishing adaptable and simplified financial systems that offer developing countries easy accessibility.
Almheiri underscored the critical importance of supporting nations most severely impacted by climate change, recognizing the unique circumstances of each country. She urged all stakeholders to actively participate in meaningful dialogue and genuine cooperation to ensure the realization of climate action and environmental conservation objectives.
The MENA Nations Climate Week also featured Dr. Nawal Al Hosany, Acting Assistant Undersecretary for the Green Development and Climate Change sector at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, as a panelist. She participated in a panel organized by Tadweer (Abu Dhabi Waste Management Company), focusing on regional endeavors to decarbonize the waste management industry