UN envoy holds ‘fruitful’ talks with Yemen Houthi chief

Martin Griffiths, the UN special envoy for Yemen, speaks during a press conference in the Yemeni capital Sanaa's international airport prior to his departure on July 4, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 04 July 2018

UN envoy holds ‘fruitful’ talks with Yemen Houthi chief

  • Griffiths said he would brief the UN Security Council on Thursday on his latest talks in Yemen
  • In the coming days, the UN envoy is to meet President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi

The UN envoy for Yemen said Wednesday he had held “fruitful” talks with Houthi leader Abdulmalik Al-Houthi in his bid to avert all-out fighting for the strategic port city of Hodeida.
“I’m greatly reassured by the messages I have received, which have been positive and constructive,” Martin Griffiths told reporters at Sanaa airport after two days of talks in the rebel-held capital.
“I’m especially thankful to Abdul Malik Al-Houthi, whom I met yesterday, for his support and the fruitful discussion we held.”
Griffiths said he would brief the UN Security Council on Thursday on his latest talks in Yemen.
In the coming days, the UN envoy is to meet President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.
“All parties have not only underscored their strong desire for peace but have also engaged with me on concrete ideas for achieving peace,” Griffiths said.
Hodeida is the latest battleground in the Yemeni conflict, which has killed nearly thousands of people since 2015 and pushed the country to the brink of famine.
The Red Sea port provides a lifeline for the 22 million Yemenis dependent on humanitarian aid and is also the point of entry for three-quarters of the country’s commercial imports.
The government and its allies in a regional coalition accuse the Iran-backed militia of receiving smuggled weapons through Hodeida and have demanded their unconditional withdrawal from the city, which they have held since 2014.


Investors, scientists urge IEA to take bolder climate stance

Updated 30 May 2020

Investors, scientists urge IEA to take bolder climate stance

  • The energy agency’s head is under pressure to align its policies with the 2015 Paris accord goals

LONDON: Fatih Birol, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA), faced renewed calls to take a bolder stance on climate change on Friday from investors concerned the organization’s reports enable damaging levels of investment in fossil fuels.

In an open letter, investor groups said an IEA report on options for green economic recoveries from the coronavirus pandemic, due out in June, should be aligned with the 2015 Paris accord goal of capping the rise in global temperatures at 1.5C.

The more than 60 signatories included the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, whose members have €30 trillion ($33.42 trillion) of assets under management, scientists and advocacy group Oil Change International.

“Bold, not incremental, action is required,” the letter said.

The Paris-based IEA said it appreciated feedback and would bear the letter’s suggestions in mind. It also said it had been recognized for leading calls on governments to put clean energy at the heart of their economic stimulus packages.

“We have backed up that call with a wide range of analysis, policy recommendations and high-level events with government ministers, CEOs, leading investors and thought leaders,” the IEA said.

Birol has faced mounting pressure in the past year from critics who say oil, gas and coal companies use the IEA’s flagship World Energy Outlook (WEO) annual report to justify further investment — undermining the Paris goals.

Birol has dismissed the criticism, saying the WEO helps governments understand the potential climate implications of their energy policies, and downplaying its influence on investment decisions.

FASTFACT

1.5°C

The 2015 Paris accord aims to cap the rise in global temperatures at 1.5C.

But campaigners want Birol to overhaul the WEO to chart a more reliable 1.5C path. The world is on track for more than double that level of heating, which would render the planet increasingly uninhabitable, scientists say.

The joint letter followed similar demands last year, and was published by Mission 2020, an initiative backed by former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres.