Saudi Arabia Hosts MENA Climate Week 2023


Saudi Arabia will host the 2023 Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA) Climate Week in the Middle East. It will be take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital from 8 to 12 October.

The event will be organized by the Ministry of Energy and the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Economist Talat Hafiz told Arab News: “It is worth noting that the World Bank Group has drawn a roadmap for climate action in the MENA region which will run from 2021-2025, aiming to drive climate action and green recovery in the region.”

Hafiz added: “However, despite such difficulties, Saudi Arabia has proven to be among the countries in the world that is spearheading serious actions to deal with adverse effects of climate change.”

Peter Terium, CEO of ENOWA – a subsidiary firm of the city tasked with managing energy and water for the city – identified the fuel as a sustainable solution to the need to reduce fossil fuel consumption.

Green hydrogen has huge potential,” he told Arab News, adding: “Made entirely from renewable energy sources, it can be a key driver for decarbonization, particularly in regions with abundant sunlight and wind.”

Terium went on to point out that ENOWA represents NEOM, which is the principal shareholder, in the green hydrogen plant in an equal joint venture with Air Products and ACWA Power.

The facility will be able to produce 650 tons of green hydrogen per day.

The executive said: “Our innovative solutions will help position the region and Saudi Arabia more specifically as world leaders in pioneering renewable technologies.”

S&P Global expects that 70 to 75 percent of the new generating capacity installed between 2023 and 2050 will be renewable power.


MENA Climate Week: Addressing Region-Specific Challenges

MENA Climate Week 2023 offers a platform for stakeholders to engage in meaningful discussions on climate change and its impact on the region. The event focuses on four key tracks, each addressing specific challenges and opportunities:

  1. Energy Systems and Industry

The energy sector plays a crucial role in the MENA region, rich in fossil fuel resources. However, transitioning towards cleaner and more sustainable energy systems is imperative to combat climate change. Discussions in this track will explore renewable energy solutions, energy efficiency, and the decarbonization of industries to reduce carbon emissions.

  1. Urban and Rural Development

Urbanization and rapid population growth pose significant challenges to both urban and rural areas in the MENA region. This track will delve into sustainable urban planning, resilient infrastructure development, and rural development strategies to ensure climate resilience.

  1. Land and Water Management

The MENA region faces water scarcity and land degradation, impacting agricultural productivity and food security. Discussions in this track will focus on sustainable land and water management practices, watershed management, and innovative approaches to conserve natural resources.

  1. Societal Well-being and Economies

Climate change affects various aspects of society, including health, livelihoods, and economic stability. This track will explore the intersection of climate change and societal well-being, with discussions on climate-resilient healthcare systems, climate-smart agriculture, and sustainable economic development.

CGIAR’s Role in Advancing Climate Solutions

As a global research partnership for a food-secure future, CGIAR plays a vital role in advancing climate solutions in the MENA region. CGIAR’s participation in MENA Climate Week 2023 includes several sessions and events that contribute to the discussions on climate change and its impact on agriculture, food security, and the environment.

Adaptation Committee: Boosting Region-Wide Coherence on Adaptation

CGIAR will participate in a session focused on promoting collaboration and coherence for adaptation efforts across borders in the MENA region. This session targets to identify adaptation gaps, recognize opportunities for strengthening implementation, and co-design solutions aligned with global efforts.

Harnessing Rigorous Evidence to Address Climate Risks

CGIAR, specifically the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), will contribute to a session that examines ongoing studies and innovations in the MENA region. This session will highlight data-driven approaches for understanding and managing climate risks effectively.

Expanding Wastewater Reuse in MENA:

The International Water Management Institute (IWMI), a CGIAR research center, will explore into  evidence-based strategies for increasing wastewater reuse in the MENA region. This session will share knowledge and insights on policy development, technology, and implementation to address water scarcity and promote sustainable water resource management.

Integrated Desert Farming Systems – Innovation for Climate Resilience

The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) will present the Integrated Desert Farming Systems (IDFS) approach, which combines ancient oasis farming wisdom with cutting-edge innovation. IDFS enhances agricultural productivity in arid climates, reducing energy and water consumption, and promoting sustainable dryland solutions.

Towards Lower GHG Emissions Agriculture in North Africa

IWMI, in collaboration with other partners, will focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in North Africa’s agricultural sector. This session will highlight ongoing efforts and challenges to promote sustainability and achieve global climate goals.

MENA Climate Week 2023 provides a unique platform for stakeholders to come together and drive climate solutions in the Middle East and North Africa. Through discussions on energy systems, urban and rural development, land and water management and community well-being, the event aims to address the region’s specific challenges and opportunities.

CGIAR’s involvement underscores the importance of research and innovative solutions in the fight against climate change.

The Middle East and North Africa region can pave the way for a resilient future. As the world looks to COP28, the results of the Middle East and North Africa Climate Week will contribute to global climate action and shape the path towards a sustainable and climate-resistant future for all.

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