Posts Tagged ‘Doha’

Today kicks off the 18th annual UN climate change Council of the Parties (COP) talks in Doha. This is the first time in the history of the talks that the conference will be held in an Arab country.  Because Qatar and surrounding Arab nations have dealt with extreme weather, like desertification and drought, for thousands of years, many are hopeful that this will lend a new perspective on dealing with and preventing climate change. While many associate drylands with lack of fertility and water, these COP talks will center around water systems, conservation efforts, and innovation that has helped people living in drought-prone areas to thrive.

What will be interesting to see is the new role Middle Eastern countries will adopt in preventing climate change . To this point, many have been quiet or even “obstructionist” in the process.  However, COP18 has made it apparent that there is clear concern over climate change within Middle Eastern civil society – a new Arab Youth Climate Movement has been formed – as well as within the public and private sectors.

Of course, this conference is not only a way for Middle Eastern nations to step up into the international climate change arena, it is also a last chance to replace or renew the expiring Kyoto Protocol. Agreement stands to be reached regarding when party nations are required to commit to serious declines in carbon emissions. So far, the largest emitters like China and the United States are the most timid to sign on. The talks will continue until December 7; let’s hope they are fruitful!

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