DUBAI: A new report on sustainability, based on interviews with 1,800 Arab government officials, offers numerous recommendations to authorities in the region, including the need to develop smart cities, encourage green financing, fully capitalize on the resources of the private sector, and raise awareness of issues associated with sustainability.
Titled “Sustainability and Government Action: Arab Government Situation,” the report was compiled by the Arab League’s Arab Administrative Development Organization and the UAE, which holds the presidency of the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference, COP28. It was unveiled during the “Forum of Sustainability and Government Action” in Cairo, the Emirates News Agency reported on Monday.
Sultan Al-Jaber, the president-designate of COP28, told the forum that governments have a critical role to play in mitigating the effects of climate change by developing effective strategies than can help meet global climate goals in partnership with regional and international organizations.
“The report supports our focus during COP28 on enhancing the efforts to achieve a significant shift in climate action,” Al-Jaber said. The UAE will host COP28 in Dubai from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12.
Ohood Al-Roumi, the Emirati minister of state for government development and the future, delivered a keynote speech to the forum in Cairo during which she emphasized the importance of developing policies and laws that help promote a sustainable green transformation, and the public-private partnerships needed to help achieve climate neutrality.
She said the newly published report will help Arab governments in their efforts to improve sustainability and combat climate change, along with related social and economic issues. The minister also emphasized the potential avenues for boosting long-term economic growth highlighted by the report, such as the development of proactive climate policies and initiatives, and the need for resilience in adapting to green regulations.
Al-Roumi said the report reflects the Emirati government’s climate action efforts and its commitment to long-term solutions to environmental concerns, in keeping with the UAE’s Year of Sustainability and its preparations for hosting COP28.
Nasser Al-Hatlan Al-Qahtani, the director-general of the Arab Administrative Development Organization, said the publication of the report also provides an opportunity to assess how ready Arab governments are to address climate change challenges and capitalize on opportunities in the green economy.