Monday 12th February, 2018 –The United Arab Emirates has launched a climate project to aid people displaced by natural disasters and reduce climate change risks around the world.
The two-year initiative will deliver climate initiatives and products that will serve 10 million people worldwide by 2020.
The joint initiative between the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) was launched on Sunday to share knowledge on coping with climate change phenomena and promote finance-able climate resilience projects in developing countries.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne who is attending the World Government Summit in Dubai has commended the UAE for its $10 million contribution to the Caribbean region.
According to the Khaleej Times, of the $10 million, Barbuda will get a share of $1 million to be used in strengthening the physical infrastructure and providing utilities among vulnerable groups, especially women. Through the UAE’s $15 million concession loan, the prime minister said Barbuda will install 10 MegaWatt of solar energy to help build a climate resilient country. “There’s a facility from the UAE worth $3.1 million, that will also be utilised to install around 1 Megawatt of solar energy to help transition Barbuda into a green island,” he said.
He said authorities expect Barbuda to be a full green island powered by clean energy over the next 2-3 years and the $3.1 million is a good start.
During the launch press conference on the first day of the World Government Summit (WGS), Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said that through an innovative approach bringing together communications and media experts with scientists, thought leaders and government representatives, the project will create products aimed at both the general public and decision makers.
Al Thani said the project will focus on three areas including gender and youth; extreme weather events; and sustainable solutions. “Natural disasters mostly impact women and youth who are the most vulnerable categories when it comes to climate change. The project will improve engagement and decision making when it comes to this segment,” said Al Thani.
The number of displaced people reached 23.5 million in 2016, he added. “Through these projects, we are aiming to close the gap bet-ween international organisations, to help send finances in real time,” said Al Thani.
The minister also launched the UAE Climate Resilience Aid Standard that will mark a first for UAE foreign aid. It will engage donors to ensure that all projects and programs actively evaluate how they can prevent humanitarian need for disaster risk. Al Thani noted: “Today’s climate circumstances demand that we plan for the worst and work towards the best.”
Over the past few years, the UAE has made significant climate investments in 11 Pacific countries, three Indian Ocean countries and 16 more in the Caribbean region.