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Climate Change

October 9, 2023 12:41 PM IST

MENA Climate Week opens discussions for COP28; talks on phasing out fossil fuels & responsible transitioning

climate change | Climate summit | Climate emergency | MENA climate meeting | Riyadh Meeting

Addressing the opening of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Climate Week in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Sunday, October 8, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, Simon Stiell said, “Phasing out and transitioning away from fossil fuels is a very tough challenge in a world that has built its industry and infrastructure on exactly that. No-one knows this better than the MENA region. We have no choice. It has to be done. And fast.”

The statement by Stiell underlines the vital need to phase-out the use of fossil fuels, a burning and use of which is a major cause of rising earth temperature. Up until the earth started the adverse impact the use of fossil fuels have on Earth’s weather, fossil fuels remained the basis of almost every human activity. From cooking food to running the vehicles, one or the other fossil fuel has been a dependent element in it.

Fossil fuels are decomposed plants and animals, found in the Earth’s crust. These contain carbon and hydrogen and are burned for producing energy. Coal, oil, and natural gas are examples of fossil fuels.

In present scenario, fossil fuels, according to the United Nations, are by far the largest contributor to global climate change, accounting for over 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 90% of all carbon dioxide emissions.

Meanwhile, UAE Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said that oil and gas should not be stigmatised in the climate debate and that the industry had a role to play in an orderly energy transition.

Energy ministers from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq, the three largest members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), have gathered in the Saudi capital Riyadh for the U.N. MENA climate week.

“The three of us here as major hydrocarbon producers also have a responsibility to the world to provide the transition with enough hydrocarbon resources to make sure we are transitioning at a responsibly priced manner,” UAE Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said on a panel that grouped the three countries.

MENA Climate Week is being held from 8 to 12 October in Riyadh and is hosted by the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and organized by UN Climate Change in collaboration with global partners UN Development Programme, UN Environment Programme, and the World Bank Group.

The MENA Climate Week will also highlight the challenges and solutions in a region that is among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The discussions at MENA Climate Week will feed into the year-end UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai. The UAE will host the COP28 climate summit scheduled to take place in Dubai between November 30 and December 12.


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