Expo 2020 underscores climate change issues

10 October 2021
Find the latest updates from the first week of Expo 2020 Dubai

Climate change discussions held centre stage during the first week at Expo 2020 Dubai, underpinned by the event's theme for the week: Climate and Biodiversity.

Under the umbrella of its Programme for People and Planet, Expo 2020 brought together experts and innovators from across the globe for a series of panel discussions, tackling everything from carbon footprint and single-use plastics to clean energy adoption and recycling.

UAE's Climate Change and Environment Minister Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri emphasised the role of the private sector in maximising sustainability drives, saying: “It is up to us to leverage these opportunities as the transition towards a green economy that balances economic prosperity with environmental protection."

Delivering his opening remarks for the People’s Promise for Climate Impact event held on 3-4 October, Abdulla Shahid, president of the United Nations General Assembly and Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Maldives, said: “When we talk about climate change, we can no longer afford to indulge in the delusion that we are talking about a distant threat that policy-makers can negotiate in their own pace. We cannot deny what is happening right in front of us ... the effects of human-induced climate change are clear for all of us to see."

Notable speakers during the week included Mohamed Nasheed, former president of the Maldives; Shaikha al-Dhaheri, secretary general of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi; Christiana Figueres, former executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change; and Khalid Abuleif, chief negotiator for Climate Agreements, Ministry of Energy, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The week also saw the UAE announced its net-zero target for 2050, aiming for an investment of over AED600bn ($163bn) in renewable energy.


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