Mena has ‘proud history of delivering COPs’, says UAE COP28 President

He stresses that this region has the vision and the capacity to shape a better future, not just for the Middle East and North Africa, but for the entire world

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Waheed Abbas

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Sun 8 Oct 2023, 3:23 PM

Last updated: Sun 8 Oct 2023, 10:29 PM

The Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region has a “proud history of delivering COPs for the world”, said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, President-Designate of COP28, with the fourth edition scheduled to be held in the UAE later this year.

While speaking during the Mena Climate Week in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, he stressed that this region has the vision and the capacity to shape a better future, not just for the Middle East and North Africa, but for the entire world.


“We live in a region of extreme water scarcity and food insecurity. We are also suffering harsh climate impacts, from droughts to the devastating floods of Derna. To deliver for our region, we must put adaptation front and centre of the climate agenda,” he told the conference audience.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, are more commonly referred to as COPs.


Doha hosted the 18th edition of the COPs in 2012, setting a set a timeline for a global climate agreement. Marrakesh established the framework for greater collaboration between cities, regions, businesses, and investors during COP22 in 2016.

In Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, COP27 delivered a big win for the Global South by agreeing to the Fund for Loss and Damage.

“And, with your help and support, COP28 will again deliver for this region, and for the world,” said Dr Al Jaber.

He added that programmes like the Saudi and Middle East Green Initiative are driving positive environmental impact and improving the lives of countless communities.

Al Jaber pointed out that the world must make the fund for loss and damage that was promised in Sharm el Sheikh a reality in Dubai.

“We are partnering with the United Nations Environment Programme to deliver a global cooling pledge to reduce the energy used to cool our homes,” he said, adding that COP28 will also be the first to put global health on the climate agenda with a political declaration in partnership with the World Health Organisation.

He called on all countries of the Mena region to sign up to these declarations.

He invited 1,000 mayors to share what’s working at the local level in a special summit at COP28.

“I’m hosting a special summit to engage the private sector and philanthropies in driving practical, impactful climate solutions. We will include the energy and voices of our youth, the wisdom of indigenous peoples and the peoples of all faiths,” he said.

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