UN climate conference forgets faith, women and youth, say MENA groups

cop 27

The UN’s climate change conference, with the worst names, COP27, will happen in Egypt this year.  

The Middle East region holds its own climate platforms via the UN (recently the MENA climate week in Dubai), not that most industries like oil and gas are listening, but did want to send a message to the UN’s mother event about to take place:

“If countries are to achieve effective climate action at a global level, COP27 and COP28 climate negotiations must include the most vulnerable communities across faiths, like women and youth,” said an announcement put together by a number of local groups.

Organised by ACT Alliance and Ummah For Earth, the side event “Multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder engagement for effective climate action” was held on 30th of March 2022 at Atlantis Hotel – Palm Dubai. Speakers included Tarek Al Olaimi (ally of Ummah for Earth), Ines Belliard (Global One), Dani El Obeid (ACT Alliance, Lebanese University), and Devar Sher (ACT Alliance), and was facilitated by Julius Mbatia (ACT Alliance). 

The event provided the opportunity for Muslim and Christian faith actors to reflect on possible solutions and pathways to strengthen multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder engagement for effective climate planning and action. It also helped to identify the gaps to be filled in order to enhance multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral approach, including the lack of youth, gender and faith inclusion in climate policy and decision making.

“Climate change represents one of the most urgent global challenges we are facing today. In order to tackle its impact, there is a need for a whole economic and governmental approach that contributes to low carbon, climate resilient and sustainable economies in MENA.

“Youth and faith actors need to be brought to the decision table every day, in order to include them in sectoral planning, prioritisation, and policy frameworks,” said Tarek Al Olaimi, from Ummah for Earth and somehow connected to Greenpeace as he offers a Greenpeace email for correspondence. (Email him: [email protected])

Muslims climate change

The year before, Ummah announced what Muslims want for the earth

We need to take a step back and take a snapshot of the MENA countries, specifically where armed conflict remains a living hell. We can’t expect conflict-affected communities to be aware of the climate hazards. The MS-MS approach must have the people’s awareness at the heart of its activities and making everyone understand what a crucial role we have to fix the climate crisis,” said Devar Sher of ACT Alliance.

The speakers highlighted the need for better coordination in order to achieve an overall transformation of societies at economic and governmental levels. They focused on the role of faith communities in terms of filling the gaps between different sectors, organising and responding to specific needs in planning and action.

Noticeably missing from MENA or Middle East North Africa events are members from Israel, and the Jewish faith, visibly very entrepreneurial in the renewable energy sector and for the Middle East, but also conveniently left by Muslim-majority countries. 

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