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UAE, Brazil launch international alliance to enhance culture-based climate action at COP28


The United Arab Emirates and the Federative Republic of Brazil joined forces to establish the Group of Friends of Culture-based Climate Action (GFCBCA) within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This global alliance comprises UN member states dedicated to rallying political support for the recognition of culture as a cornerstone for driving positive transformations in climate policies.

The group’s inception coincided with the commencement of the Conference of the Parties (COP28). Spearheaded by the UAE and Brazil, this alliance seeks to foster climate action anchored in culture, develop initiatives, solutions, and collaborative partnerships that advance the integration of culture into climate endeavours. It also aims to create a platform for all nations and communities, regardless of their cultural backgrounds or perspectives, to exchange knowledge, experiences, and best practices.

As the host nations of COP28 and COP30 respectively, the UAE and Brazil recognise the completion of the
first global assessment of progress towards the Paris Agreement’s objectives as a momentous occasion. They seek to affirm the value of culture-based solutions in addressing environmental challenges. This is achieved by providing a unified voice championing cultural considerations in climate dialogues, encouraging behavioural changes to adapt to climate change impacts, and leveraging traditional knowledge to devise practical solutions.

On this occasion, Salem bin Khaled Al Qassimi, Minister of Culture and Youth, and Co-Chair of GFCBCA, said, “The UAE stands at the forefront of nations striving to combat climate change. We acknowledge that climate change is not merely an environmental, financial, or scientific challenge but also a cultural one. It is disheartening that our heritage sites, traditions, and natural environment could fall prey to climate change, causing us to lose our connection to our past and our understanding of ourselves.”

In recognition of the growing threat that climate change poses to both
material and spiritual cultures, as well as heritage sites worldwide, the UAE and Brazil will convene an alliance comprising over 20 countries during COP28. This high-level ministerial meeting will focus on culture-based climate action.

“While our cultural heritage is under threat due to climate change, we find in culture essential resources that help us mitigate and adapt to its impacts. Culture is an integral part of the solution,” said Margareth Menezes, Minister of Culture of Brazil and Co-Chair of GFCBCA. This alliance has been formed to ensure that culture-centred climate action progresses alongside the COP28 meetings, guaranteeing a rightful place for culture in climate dialogues.

“Brazil holds numerous interests related to this initiative. On one hand, it is a biodiversity stronghold and showcases the role of local knowledge and social technologies in offering solutions. On the other hand, our country faces immense challenges in mitigating and adapting to climate change impacts,” Menezes added. “We
hope this message resonates universally, contributing to raising awareness and, most importantly, awakening a motivation to change humanity’s trajectory. By working together, starting here in the UAE and in the upcoming years leading up to COP30 in Brazil, we aim to gain the necessary political momentum for efficient, consistent, and effective multilateral action.”

Ministers from across the globe are expected to attend the opening session of the Group of Friends of Culture-based Climate Action at COP28 on 8th December. This reflects the immense value that collaboration and joint creativity can achieve, particularly through knowledge exchange between countries of the North and South and among Southern nations.

Source: Emirates News Agency