“There is hope. There is light at the end of the tunnel. We are moving in the right direction”
HE Mariam Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, United Arab Emirates
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, 12 November 2022: HE Mariam Almheiri, the UAE’s Minister of Climate Change and Environment, spoke today on the second day of the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI) Forum, held on the sidelines of COP27. Throughout her panel session ‘the need for climate action’, HE reflected on the importance of holding two consecutive COPs in the Middle East and shared her hopes that the world will take this opportunity to catalyze real change.
With one year to go before the UAE hosts COP28, HE Almheiri discussed the key role that next year’s global event will play: “It will be the first global stock take. This is going to be very unique in the COP process - in a way it’s like a report card. We’ll be able to see where we are, compared to where we want to be. We need to be more ambitious. We know that the results of the ‘report card’ will not look good. But it is important to realize from now that this is an implementation COP. It’s really important that we scale up….Having COP27 in here in Egypt, having COP28 in the UAE next year and having the Saudi Green Initiative – these are all opportunities that we can move forward.”
HE Almheiri also highlighted the technological innovations that are driving regional climate action and are presenting opportunities for collaboration: “It would be amazing if we could see regional carbon markets increasing our collective liquidity. We’re electrifying our industries and mobility as well in order to decarbonize, so having interconnected grids to help stabilize the grid and increase efficiency across region. We’re all putting a lot of a lot of focus now on hydrogen, on CCUS [carbon] - with Saudi Arabia really putting a lot of efforts in on this – and it’s amazing when you see what these technologies can actually do.”
HE added: “There is hope, there is light at the end of the tunnel. We are moving in the right direction … we need to move faster, but I really think that we should use this as an opportunity to catalyze efforts to put these technologies into place.”