Competition hots up for climate leadership in MENA
The race is on as the major Middle East powers up their climate ambition after many years of slow progress. Healthy competition could help drive genuine action.
Leaders of four Middle East and North African (MENA) powers took part in the US Leaders Summit on Climate – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey, and Israel – representing 40 per cent of the region’s greenhouse gas emissions and just under 3.5 per cent of global emissions, as well as being the most influential states in the region along with Iran which was not invited.
Although the political significance of the summit is clear with the new US administration trying to chart a new course and make up for lost time, long-term geopolitical moves by the US have cast a long shadow over dynamics in the MENA region. Its declared pivot to Asia and partial withdrawal from MENA encourages several regional powers to now engage in a geopolitical competition to fill a perceived vacuum.
In the past, this usually manifested as states vying to expand their influence using diplomatic, financial, and military means but the new US administration’s focus on climate action has opened a new arena for regional leadership and global status. US president Joe Biden had urged invited leaders to use the summit as an opportunity to ‘outline how their countries will also contribute to stronger climate ambition’ but some MENA responses to his invitation came well before the meeting.
Click here to continue reading the full version of this Expert Comment on the Chatham House website.
Latest News from
New options to improve the global financial safety net05/08/2021 12:20:00
An initiative from the Bank of England and Bank for International Settlements could prove to be the start of timely support for international banking markets.
New UK bill can fight fresh wave of online racist abuse26/07/2021 09:20:00
The Euros final and Grand Prix put online abuse once more in the spotlight. The UK’s Online Safety Bill provides a strong framework for tackling the problem.
US embargo blocks constructive policy approach to Cuba20/07/2021 09:20:00
Protests in Cuba have brought the US embargo back into the public debate but really are more about a failed regime and unaccountable political system.
Stark choice must be faced to end Saudi-Emirati stalemate12/07/2021 13:38:00
Contrary to media reports, the UAE is not about to leave OPEC and, despite a public stand-off with Saudi Arabia, compromise and agreement will be reached.
How the international system should tackle climate risk30/06/2021 09:20:00
For the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to succeed, there must be an urgent move away from reactive ‘defence-oriented’ mindsets when managing climate risk.
Denmark's immigrants forced out by government policies29/06/2021 16:43:00
Relocating asylum seekers outside Europe is just the latest extreme measure from Denmark’s Social Democrats to outflank the political right.
Collective action can spark innovation for data flows29/06/2021 09:20:00
The UK, Japan, and EU can lead the way in using the G7 ‘data free flow with trust’ roadmap to ensure data transfers with robust security and privacy standards.
Black Sea incident is Russia telling the same old story28/06/2021 15:10:00
Russia claiming it chased off a British warship with warning shots and bombing runs is no surprise – but neither is the fact that little of it seems to be true.