• The event is hosted by the UAE for the first time in the region
• MENACW provides a platform for promoting dialogue and accelerating efforts to achieve climate action ambitions in the region
• Participants emphasise the importance of concerted efforts to increase the momentum of climate action and respond to environmental challenges
Dubai, UAE, 28 March 2022: The Middle East and North Africa Climate Week (MENACW) 2022 commenced positively, with stakeholders reiterating their commitment to collective action to combat climate change regionally and globally.
The opening ceremony of MENACW held at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai, started with welcome remarks by H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and the UAE’s Climate Change Special Envoy. H.E Mariam Bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, delivered a speech on behalf of the UAE Government. H.E. Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Chairman of the World Green Economy Organization, (WGEO) and MD&CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), delivered a speech on behalf of MENACW host organisations. H.E Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC Secretariat, delivered a speech on behalf of the MENACW Organising Partners.
The highly anticipated event brings together experts and dignitaries, business, government, and civic leaders from around the world to explore key issues that will shape the climate response, including resilience against climate risks, the transition to low-emission economies, and collaboration to solve pressing challenges. The Week will also highlight the importance of addressing social inequalities and investing in economic development to promote health and prosperity for humanity and nature.
The inaugural day witnessed a high-level panel discussion aimed at motivating countries to actively foster collective actions to combat climate change through different tools. The opening remarks were given by Issam Abousleiman, Regional Director for the GCC and MENA, World Bank; followed by a special keynote address by H.E. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General, League of Arab States Secretariat. The other panellists included H.E. Dr. Mohamed Maait, Minister of Finance, Egypt; H.E. Dr. Nasser Yassin, Minister of Environment, Lebanon; H.E. Dr. Muawieh Khalid Radaiedeh, Minister of Environment, Jordan; H.E. Ramsahay Prasad Yadav, Minister of Forests and Environment, Nepal; and Francesco La Camera, Director General, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Dr. Khalida Bouzar, UNDP, Assistant Administrator and UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States (RBAS) Director, gave an inaugural speech during a high-level panel discussion themed ‘Tradition meets modernity: Integrated approaches for Climate Resilience in the MENA region’. The session explored ways to adapt to climate change impacts and strengthen resilience, including through local knowledge, as well as corresponding technical and financial support.
The panellists included H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, UAE; H.E. Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment, Egypt; H.E. Hussain Makhlouf, Minister of Local Administration and Environment, Syria; H.E. Houmed Msaidié, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Environment, Territory & Urban Planning, Comoros; and H.E. Md. Shahab Uddin, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bangladesh.
Themed ‘Accelerating Implementation in this Critical Decade’, an exploratory session was also held to highlight the need for innovation, policies, technology, and capacity building to enable climate action. Sami Dimassi, Director, United Nations Environment Programme’s Regional Office for West Asia (UNEP ROWA), gave the welcome address while H.E. Dr. Rola Dashti, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (UNESCWA), was the keynote speaker during the high-level discussion.
Panellists included H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, Egypt; H.E. Dr. Jassim Abdulazeez Humadi, Minister of Environment and Special Envoy of Climate Change, Iraq; H.E. Nadia Fettah, Minister of Finance and Economy, Morocco; and H.E. Nigel Topping, High-Level Climate Champion for Climate Action, COP26
The first day of the event also witnessed two separate Ministerial Roundtables where participants explored ways and means that can help countries implement the Glasgow Climate Pact. It also touched on the expectations from and preparations on the road to COP 27; and other developments in the green economy.