COP28 strong push for climate action in Arab region: UNDP official

Abdallah Al Dardari, Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the United Nations Development Programme Regional Bureau for Arab States, stated that the operationalisation of the Loss and Damage Fund, as one of the first decisions of COP28, is a significant boost to support climate action in the Arab region.

Speaking to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), he emphasised that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has spent approximately $1 billion in the Arab region for integrated development solutions driven by national priorities and the programme’s strategic plan.

He called for using climate support avenues for economic transformation, fair transitions, and green investment in areas such as the circular economy.

Addressing the borderless nature of climate challenges, Al Dardari stressed the ongoing imperative for innovative solutions in the Arab region. These solutions encompass pivotal areas such as food security, the transition to renewable energy, and the preservation of water resources. He af
firmed that Arab countries import 75% of their food needs despite consuming 75% of their water resources in agriculture.

The UNDP official warned of the negative effects of unsustainable practices on natural resources in the Arab region, highlighting that the Arab region could lose 14% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2050 due to water wastage. He emphasised the need for sustainable policies to conserve water, noting that the energy intensity for producing $1,000 of GDP is the highest in the world.

Regarding the impact of climate change on the Arab region, he pointed out that Yemen is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change, facing a worsening water crisis for decades. There are expectations of increased malnutrition and poverty if climate actions are not taken to build resilience against climate change.

He noted that by 2060, it’s estimated that Yemen could lose a total of $93 billion in GDP, leading to an additional 3.8 million people suffering from malnutrition in the country.

He em
phasised that climate change impacts all people, particularly vulnerable groups like those with disabilities. Citing an example, he noted that 300 million people with disabilities are affected by climate change, with 400,000 individuals in Syria requiring prosthetics. He urged the integration of these groups to adapt to the effects of climate change on community health.

Source: Emirates News Agency