The Middle East and North Africa Climate Week (MENACW) showcased innovative efforts and technologies that position countries in the MENA region as incubators for progress on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and prioritizing an inclusive approach that leaves no segment of society behind. Countries also announced several major initiatives to advance global climate goals.
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) summary report of the meeting cites President-designate of the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 28), Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Chairman, Masdar Clean Energy Company, who stated “we cannot unplug the energy system of today before building the one of tomorrow.” He said to make truly “ground-changing” progress on climate action, “we must separate facts from fiction, reality from fantasy, and impact from ideology.” These words, ENB notes, set the tone for the discussions held throughout the week.
Focusing on the MENA region, participants discussed just and equitable energy transitions, economic diversification, and inclusive finance to meet climate goals, as well as strategies for climate adaptation. Countries’ announcements for advancing climate action included:
- Saudi Arabia’s Greenhouse Gas Crediting and Offsetting Mechanism (GCOM);
- the Roadmap to Reaching the Saudi Green Initiative’s 10 Billion Tree Target; and
- the Empowering Africa initiative, building on the foundation of the Clean Fuel Solutions for Cooking programme.
MENACW’s four thematic tracks covered: Energy Systems and Industry; Cities, Urban and Rural Settlements, Infrastructure, and Transport; Land, Ocean, Food, and Water; and Societies, Health, Livelihoods, and Economies. Affiliated events, side events, interactive Action Hubs, a Global Stocktake dialogue for the MENA region, the Gulf Cooperation Council Roundtable, and the League of Arab States (LAS) Roundtable to discuss expectations for COP 28 also convened.
Outputs from MENACW 2023 will contribute to a High-Level Communiqué, to be presented to the COP 28 President and ministers.
The second MENACW took place from 8-12 October 2023 in Riyadh, Saudia Arabia. It was organized by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UNFCCC, the World Bank Group, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), and the League of Arab States. [ENB Coverage of MENA Climate Week]