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MENA and Latin America Rally Behind Climate Change Agenda

April 7, 2021 by Daniel Mollenkamp
A model of the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. (Photo by Dan McCue)

This week, countries in the Persian Gulf expressed commitment to the Paris Agreement and to green infrastructure investments, in a joint statement from the United Arab Emirates Regional Climate meeting at which U.S. Special Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, was present. This meeting–which included envoys from the UAE, Kuwait, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Iraq, Jorda, Sudan, and Oman–will launch a new era of cooperation in addressing climate change, the statement claimed. 

A joint statement by Kerry and the United Arab Emirates issued this week expressed commitment to strengthen the Paris Agreement, to advance COP26 in Glasgow, and to make investments to decarbonize the Middle East and North Africa region. That statement praised Saudi Arabia’s Green Middle East Initiative, Madagascar City’s low-carbon urban design, and the solar facility in Noor in Abu Dhabi, in particular. 

Speaking of the infrastructure within its own borders, the U.S. said it intends to begin decarbonizing its economy “in line with our national circumstances and economic development.” 

Last week, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke with Argentinian Foreign Minister Felipe Sola to express U.S. support for Argentina’s attempts to rally behind a climate change agenda, including their plans for a regional summit. 

Department of State Spokesperson Ned Price said that Secretary Blinked had stressed the need for cooperation and regional diplomatic engagement to tackle the challenges facing the region. Secretary Blinked stressed not only climate change, but also security, democracy, and human rights in his conversation with the Argentine representative, according to Price.

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