MENA Climate Week 2022 programme announced

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Event to be hosted in the UAE for the first time in the region

Dubai, UAE: The programme of the first ever Middle East and North Africa Climate Week 2022 (MENACW22) has been announced today. MENA Climate Week will take place at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai from 28 to 31 March 2022. The event is hosted by the UAE Government, represented by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), the World Green Economy Organization (WGEO), and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), in collaboration with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Bank Group.  The event will be supported by regional partners, including the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the League of Arab States Secretariat, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA), and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).

The announcement was made at a press conference held today (Monday, 21 March 2022). Speakers at the conference included HE Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment; HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Chairman of the World Green Economy Organization, and MD&CEO of DEWA; and HE Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, through a recorded speech. Waleed Bin Salman, Vice Chairman of WGEO; Abdulrahim Sultan, Director of WGEO and James Grabert, Global Head of the UNFCCC Regional Collaboration Centres and Director of Mitigation Division at the UN Climate Change Secretariat, took part in the conference, which saw the participation of a large number of climate action supporters and the media.

“Climate change is in full swing, causing widespread and severe damage across the globe. Earlier this month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report gave us yet another dire warning of where the world is heading if we fail to address climate change at the pace and scale needed. It provided sufficient evidence that climate change is getting worse, hitting marginalized people the hardest. Therefore, climate change mitigation and adaptation and the pursuit of sustainable economic development must be at the top of the world’s agenda today if we are to turn the tide on climate change,” said HE Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri.

She added: “Building on its three decades of robust climate action, the UAE Government is proud to host the inaugural MENA Climate Week, which underscores our commitment to driving collective action to combat climate change regionally and globally. The highly anticipated event will explore key issues that will shape the climate response in this region, such as resilience against climate risks, the transition to a low-emission economy, and collaboration to solve pressing challenges. It will carry forward the momentum from COP26 into implementation by bringing together regional stakeholders from across sectors to promote submission of stronger adaptation and mitigation plans, encourage participation in the Race to Zero and Race to Resilience campaigns, and bring the voices of stakeholders from our region to the UN Climate Change process to help achieve the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to as close to 1.5° C as possible.”

The Minister noted that in this critical Decade of Action, regional collaboration is emerging as a catalyst for global climate efforts. MENACW 2022 will be inclusive and open to all stakeholders for partnership building and advancing action.

In his speech at the press conference, HE Saeed Al Tayer thanked the organising partners of the MENA Climate Week 2022.

“Organising this event is in line with the vision of the wise leadership of the UAE and the ‘UAE Net Zero by 2050’ initiative to achieve the mid- to long-term objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement. It also supports the ongoing efforts to mobilise international efforts and promote collaboration among governments and stakeholders in various sectors. This makes the MENA Climate Week an ideal platform to strengthen cooperation and partnerships to support global efforts to reduce carbon emissions and build green economy systems that address sustainable development, environmental protection, and climate action,” said Al Tayer.

“This regional climate week is particularly important as it follows a critical year in our climate ambitions and the beginning of a crucial decade for tackling global warming and climate change and achieving the SDGs. This event will be the first gathering on the global climate action agenda since COP26 which was held last November in Glasgow, Scotland, UK. MENA Climate Week 2022 comes on the heels of the regional climate events held in 2021 in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia and the Pacific. By organising this event, we aim to accelerate climate action in preparation of COP27 in Egypt and COP28 here in the UAE. This will be achieved by increasing climate activities, researching the key climate challenges, and highlighting ambitious solutions and promising ideas. The event will be a major opportunity and a strategic platform for partners and stakeholders across countries of the region to discuss the difficulties and challenges facing these countries and contribute to creating an ideal environment for COP27. We are confident that that MENA Climate Week 2022 will be a driving force for enhancing climate action and increase our ambitions,” added Al Tayer.

“The current exceptional circumstances require that we double our efforts and work closely together to achieve the climate goals. To this end, Egypt and the UAE are set to host the two upcoming meetings of the UN Conference of Parties. MENA Climate Week 2022 will enable participants from across the region and the world to work together and establish the foundation for a green economy, especially that this event coincides with Expo 2020 Dubai, which is a global platform where we look to connect to build a better future. The MENA Climate Week will also bring together leaders, stakeholders, and decision makers to focus their efforts on creating effective solutions to the climate challenges in the region. The event will further foster cooperation among the public and private sectors, the academic community and civil society to discuss climate priorities and weaknesses and areas of improvement from a GCC perspective,” concluded Al Tayer.

“With climate impacts increasingly apparent and science like the recent IPCC Sixth Assessment Report sounding the planetary alarm — we must act with urgency. Outcomes of last November’s UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow underscore the urgent need to raise ambition and scale up action with unprecedented speed. MENA Climate Week is an opportunity to carry momentum from COP26 forward and accelerate implementation in this region and around the world,” said Her Excellency Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.