UAE to allow climate protests at designated area during COP28

The 'Voices for Action' will provide a place for activists to assemble peacefully and make their voices heard


Angel Tesorero

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Published: Tue 14 Nov 2023, 6:18 PM

Last updated: Tue 14 Nov 2023, 11:24 PM

Climate activists attending COP28 will have a dedicated area to hold protests and demonstrations for climate action.

The Voices for Action hub, located in the Green Zone, next to Mobility entrance, will be the space available for climate activists to assemble peacefully and make their voices heard, officials from Expo City Dubai (ECD, the venue for the upcoming COP28), confirmed during a media briefing on Tuesday.

Responding to a query from Khaleej Times about an area for climate activists, Hend AlMheiri, director, Special Projects Expo City Technology at Expo City Dubai, said: “We have a hub called Voices for Action that is within the Green Zone".

Dedicated area

The UN Climate Summit will have two zones. The Blue Zone is open only to UN-accredited participants. It is here where formal negotiations across the two weeks of the conference will take place, such as the World Climate Action Summit, Global Climate Action Hub, presidency events, and numerous panel and roundtable discussions.

The Green Zone is an open space for the public to promote dialogue and awareness around climate action.

Importance of inclusivity

Back in August, the UAE as host country and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), issued a joint statement “underscoring the importance of inclusivity, transparency, and respect, as part of the COP process that enables unity and more ambitious action.”

COP28 president-designate Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber and UNFCCC executive secretary Simon Stiell said: “We will work together to make COP28 the most inclusive UN Climate Change Conference to date. To this effect, we have written to all parties urging increased participation and meaningful engagement of youth, women, local communities, and indigenous peoples as members of party and observer delegations to COP, and in climate decision-making, policy, and action in the lead up to and during COP28 by providing appropriate quality and modalities of participation.”

Dr. Al Jaber added: “The COP28 plan of action is centred on four key pillars: fast-tracking the energy transition; fixing climate finance — focusing on people, lives and livelihoods; and underpinning everything with full inclusivity.

“The COP28 Presidency believes inclusivity is a critical enabler to achieving transformative progress across the climate agenda. Only by rising above our differences and working together can we raise our shared ambition and deliver progress to keep 1.5°C within reach,” he earlier underscored.

Stiell also reaffirmed the UNFCCC's dedication to upholding UN values at COPs and ensuring the voices of those most impacted by climate change are heard and represented in leadership roles, noting: “As custodians of the process, the secretariat is dedicated to supporting the parties implement their climate commitments, including under the Paris Agreement."

“To drive climate action and ambition forward, we are firmly committed to ensuring that UN values are upheld at COPs. We are also making every effort on our part to ensure that this will be a COP process where the voices of youth, women, local communities, indigenous peoples, and those most impacted by climate change will be heard and reflected within the process,” he added.

The UAE will host over 70,000 delegates, including heads of state, civic and world leaders, environmental experts and advocates, for COP28 or the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), taking place from November 30 to December 12 at Expo City Dubai.


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