Green Initiative in the Middle East: “pioneering work” to protect the planet |

Just days before the G20 summit of the main industrialized countries in Rome, immediately followed by the United Nations climate conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed welcomed the new initiative.

“This will not only help reduce emissions from the oil and gas industry in the region, but will also create new carbon sinks and help restore and protect large tracts of land through afforestation,” she said. declared.

“It is now clear that the global economy is irreversibly heading towards the deep decarbonisation of all sectors, from energy to manufacturing, transport and food systems.”

“Historic moment”

Ms. Mohammed echoed the Secretary-General’s warning that a global temperature rise of more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels would condemn the world’s children to a “hellish future.”

We urgently need to peak, reduce and stabilize global greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 ”by reducing global emissions by 2030 by 45% from 2010 levels, she said.

“Your leadership is needed more than ever at this historic moment”.

An exposed region

Entire communities around the world are already affected by climate impacts, with the Middle East and North Africa particularly vulnerable.

Exposed to a range of systemic risks, such as desertification, food insecurity, forced displacement and extreme heat waves, without action the region will face 200 days of extreme heat and temperatures of 50 ° C. , every year by the end of the century, according to Ms. Mohammed.

“But the region also has incredible assets to harness, which could make it a precursor for a post-carbon, resilient and inclusive economy,” she added.

Choose not to fail

Everyone must act quickly for a fair net zero transition in all regions, especially those dependent on oil and gas revenues, Ms. Mohammed said, adding: “In our fight against climate change, failure is a choice, not a certainty ”.

While the transition from fossil fuels will be “a challenge of epic proportions”, requiring targeted support to those temporarily affected, she argued that these investments “could yield countless long-term benefits.”

“Solidarity and equity are fundamental principles underlying the multilateral regime,” she said. “That’s why I’m happy to see that the Middle East Green Initiative is a regional and cooperative approach to climate action”.

OMM / Romeo Ibrišević

Socotra, the largest of the Socotra archipelago is part of Yemen, while the other three islands are geographically part of Africa.

Make COP26 “a turning point”

At COP26, the UN Deputy Chief urged leaders to prepare to make it not only a success, but a real turning point towards “a green, resilient and just transition”.

In this context, she suggested that all countries update their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for increasingly ambitious climate actions that “bring us closer to our collective goal of reducing emissions” on a global scale. .

G20 countries, which are responsible for up to 80% of global emissions, must lead by exampleThe UN official said, asking donors to allocate at least half of their climate finance to adaptation.

“As shareholders of multilateral, regional and national development banks and funds, you can ask your representatives on the boards of these institutions to work towards earmarking 50% of climate finance for adaptation.” , she said.

Credibility “will be the key”

Stressing that the Paris Agreement on climate change requires that all public and private financial investment flows be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), she urged countries, small developing islands and in general vulnerable communities.

“And private financial institutions… must pass the credibility test…[including] strong taxonomies and standards; mandatory disclosure of climate risks; and more transparency at all levels to ensure that all financial flows help keep the 1.5 ° C target within reach, ”she said. “Credibility will be the key”.

And senior executives in the private sector need to understand that developing countries must not be grappling with unsustainable levels of debt, forced to make “impossible compromises to the detriment of their people and our planet.”

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