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Bloc profile: MENA at COP28

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By Khalid Mohammed Al Blooshi

· 3 min read

Objectives and focus areas

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) bloc enters COP28 with four strategic objectives focused on addressing the unique climate challenges in the region:

  • Renewable energy transition: Accelerating the shift towards renewable energy sources to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainable development.
  • Water security: Developing resilient water management strategies to combat water scarcity exacerbated by climate change.
  • Adaptation and resilience: Implementing measures to adapt to the impacts of climate change, with a focus on protecting vulnerable communities and ecosystems.
  • Biodiversity conservation: Committing to safeguarding the rich biodiversity of the region through conservation initiatives and sustainable practices.

Alignment with COP28's goals

The MENA bloc positions itself as a key player in advancing COP28's goals through active engagement in pre-COP talks. By contributing expertise and sharing regional insights, the bloc aims to influence the negotiation process in favor of comprehensive and equitable climate solutions.

The MENA bloc's primary objectives at COP28 align with the major topics on the agenda:

  • Global temperature targets: Advocating for measures that align with the global temperature goals set in the Paris Agreement, with a specific focus on the region's vulnerabilities.
  • Climate finance: Pushing for increased climate finance to support adaptation and mitigation efforts, recognizing the financial needs of developing nations within the bloc.
  • Technology transfer: Emphasizing the importance of technology transfer to accelerate the adoption of sustainable practices and renewable energy solutions.

Past contributions and climate action commitments

Historically, the MENA region has faced challenges related to emissions due to its energy-intensive industries. Recent commitments and contributions include:

  • Renewable energy investments: Several countries within the bloc have pledged substantial investments in solar and wind energy projects to diversify their energy portfolios.
  • Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS): Some nations are exploring and investing in CCS technologies to mitigate the impact of existing carbon emissions.
  • Afforestation and reforestation initiatives: MENA countries are actively engaged in initiatives to combat desertification through afforestation and reforestation, contributing to carbon sequestration efforts.

Challenges for the bloc include economic dependencies on fossil fuels, water scarcity, and the need for sustainable development. At the same time, significant opportunities lie in leveraging abundant solar and wind resources, fostering innovation, and promoting regional collaboration for mutual benefit.

Role beyond COP28

The MENA bloc emphasizes collaboration with other regional and global counterparts to address shared challenges. Knowledge exchange, joint research initiatives, and technology transfer partnerships are crucial components of their collaborative efforts.

Post-COP28, the MENA bloc commits to implementing and enhancing the discussed initiatives. This involves continued collaboration with other blocs, monitoring progress, and adapting strategies based on evolving climate science and technological advancements. The bloc aims to contribute valuable experiences to the global climate dialogue, emphasizing the importance of regional perspectives in shaping international climate policies.

Future Thought Leaders is a democratic space presenting the thoughts and opinions of rising Sustainability & Energy writers, their opinions do not necessarily represent those of illuminem.

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This article is featured in illuminem's Thought Leadership series on COP28 proudly powered by Tikehau Capital.

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About the author

Khalid Mohammed Al Blooshi is a student in Zayed University's dual credit program for computer science. He is a sustainability ambassador for Youth 4 Sustainability.

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