UAE’s Reem Al Hashimy says climate finance 'business as usual' is not enough

Minister of State for International Co-operation speaks during a panel discussion at the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi

Reem Al Hashimy speaks at the Raisina Dialogue talks in New Dehli
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Business as usual in climate finance is not enough, said Reem Al Hashimy, the UAE's Minister of State for International Co-operation, on the second day of the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi.

Ms Al Hashimy said funds are not being allocated efficiently to countries that are transitioning or in need of capital for development, especially when it comes to climate change action.

“We have been seeing earthquakes, typhoons, floods and droughts on an unprecedented scale,” Ms Al Hashimy said during a panel discussion moderated by Mina Al-Oraibi, Editor-in-Chief of The National.

“We now hear the word ‘apocalyptic’ regularly. Business as usual in climate finance is not enough.

“We're looking straight in the eye of conflicts and challenges in our region as it has always been. But we choose not to be victims. We choose to see beyond these issues to find solutions.”

Ms Al Hashimy said the UAE had a population of consumers but had pivoted to focus on innovation in recent years.

“Today, you're seeing innovation happen in our part of the world. The dynamic has changed significantly with education and technology transfers,” she told the audience.

Cop28 will be hosted by the UAE, with the bulk of the talks to be held at Expo City Dubai this year.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, is Cop28 President-designate and will lead the crucial 13-day talks in November. He is also the special envoy on climate change.

As the UAE prepares to host Cop28, Ms Al Hashimy said her country was committed to trying to do things differently.

“We want it to be solution-driven and impact orientated, where we're bringing in technology and innovation at the very heart of how we want to provide practical solutions,” she said.

“We're a nation that believes in partnerships that is working with everybody on this panel but probably everybody in the audience and beyond in developing long-standing, impactful, meaningful partnerships.”

India is holding its eighth annual Raisina Dialogue conference in New Delhi.

The event, which focuses on geopolitics and geostrategy, aims to address issues affecting the global community. It takes its name from Raisina Hill, which is used as a metonym for the seat of the Indian government.

Sharing the stage with Ms Al Hashimy was Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Oman’s Foreign Minister Badr Al Busaidi and Indian diplomat Ausaf Sayeed.

The focus of the session was “a region of opportunities: From the Mediterranean to the Arabian Sea”.

“India has so much capital to offer and connectedness between India and our region is going to be a game changer,” said Mr Al Busaidi.

“Informed by geography, history and culture, Oman has got used to being 'friends to all'."

Egypt’s Mr Shoukry said the region's greatest potential lay in its young population.

He added that Egypt played a fundamental role due to its strategic location and that Cop27 in Sharm El Sheikh last year was a defining moment for climate change discussions in the region.

“Egypt plays a fundamental role because of its strategic position because of the Suez Canal, which connects the East and the West and because of its diverse relationships,” Mr Shoukry said. “Our ambitions in renewable energy are unlimited due to its proven economic viability.”

Mr Shoukry also agreed with his Emirati counterpart on proper financing on climate change actions and called for reforms in that area.

“Without finance, there can be limited ambition and to open the doors of finance, which recognisably have a potential for good return not only on climate action but even from an economic and development perspective, we need to reform the international financial institution and commitments,” he said.

The topic of the Palestinian-Israeli issue was also brought up during the panel discussion in New Delhi. Mr Shoukry said that the Arab world had seen consecutive Israeli governments which may not have demonstrated a sufficient level of political will.

“Nor have we seen an international community that has applied, rule-based, the same manner, without the double standard to the issue of occupation of lands and lack of addressing both the political right of Palestinian but also their human rights,” he said.

“We see a constant degradation of Palestinian human rights and international community that doesn’t seem to care and these are the issues that have created a more complex situation.”

Updated: March 03, 2023, 12:21 PM