‘Use Cop 22 climate change meeting to ramp up UAE ambition and encourage others’

Expert hopes gathering in Morocco will see the UAE push its climate change effort further while encouraging other countries around it to set more ambitious carbon-cutting targets.

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ABU DHABI // The international climate conference kicking off in Morocco on Monday is an unprecedented opportunity for the UAE to further its efforts in tackling climate change, an expert said.

Tanzeed Alam, climate and energy director of the Emirates Wildlife Society-World Wide Fund, was speaking ahead of the Cop 22 conference in Marrakesh, where countries will set a road map to implement last year’s Paris Agreement to address climate change.

“Through Cop 22 we hope to see the UAE ramp up its level of ambition and encourage others from the region to come to the table, as current global pledges are insufficient to limit warming to 1.5 degrees,” said Mr Alam.

Cop 22 is the informal name given to the 22nd annual Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“We also want to see a more coordinated approach to make ambitious targets and measures more effectively actioned on the ground in the UAE.”

Despite the country taking significant steps towards prioritising climate change, such as establishing the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, ratifying the Paris Agreement and announcing the development of the country’s first National Climate Action Plan, Mr Alam said more had to be done to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

He said the EWS-WWF will be attending the conference where they hope to work with government, business and civil society parties to drive action on climate change.

Cop 22 follows last year’s landmark Cop 21 agreement in Paris in December, during which 196 parties signed to pledge progressive policy actions to tackle climate change.

The UAE is one of the first countries in the Arab world to do so.