The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a leading force in global climate initiatives. Recently, the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment held the “Green Retreat.” The event invited ministers and high ranking government officials to showcase the UAE’s dedication to climate change. The Green Retreat is a strategic precursor to the nation’s anticipated Conference of Parties (COP28). COP28 will take place from November 30 to December 12, 2023 in Dubai.
Held in Expo City Dubai, the Green Retreat, debuted innovative ideas related to climate change action, environmental preservation, and sustainability efforts. Under the theme “United for Climate,” the retreat facilitated collaborative dialogue and showcased the UAE’s most impactful climate initiatives.
A number of diverse and influential attendees were present at the event: senior government officials, local government ministries and agencies, media offices, and prominent business leaders.
In particular, the Green Retreat was attended by H.H. Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, President and Chief Executive Officer of the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators (UICCA); Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment; Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy; Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure; Dr. Ahmad Abdulla Humaid Abdulla Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education; and Salem bin Khalid Al Qassimi, Minister of Culture and Youth.
According to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment will coordinate collaborative efforts between government and private institutions in preparation for COP28.
Fostering a Climate-Resilient World
During her address, Mariam Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, emphasized the important mission of the Green Retreat. Additionally, Her Excellency also discussed the severe climate change the world is facing, such as excessive food waste, carbon emissions, waste management issues and the imminent threat to all living organisms.
With a sense of urgency, Almheiri highlighted the need for swift action. Likewise, she also promoted sustainability efforts across sectors to secure a better world for future generations. Even more, she also conveyed the nation’s role in inspiring solutions to global climate change while fostering a climate-resilient world.
“The Green Retreat serves as an invaluable opportunity for participants to learn about the UAE’s outstanding climate action record and contribute their ambitious ideas to drive tangible progress in national efforts towards sustainable economic growth. We aim to develop a comprehensive climate action plan through the participation of all government and private institutions, which will create significant opportunities for economic growth and diversification, generate employment for youth, foster inclusive and cohesive communities, harness the potential of clean energy, and safeguard natural habitats and preserve the environment,” said Almheiri.
Government Collaboration at The Green Retreat
The Green Retreat featured seven different thematic counsels: Water Resource Management and Conservation; Biodiversity and Blue Carbon Ecosystem Protection; Private Sector Engagement and Industry Transformation; Waste Management and Circular Economy; Sustainable Transportation; Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency; and Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security.
Composed of federal and local government experts, the councils proposed 8-10 initiatives/projects to potentially be implemented. Feasible ideas were selected as preliminary plans available for a pilot run.
The Green Retreat brought experts and strategic partners together to advance climate action in the UAE. In particular, the goal is to present a model during COP28 that reflects the country’s climate efforts.