President Barzani urges for global efforts to protect planet at COP28

22:37, Friday, 01 December, 2023
President Barzani urges for global efforts to protect planet at COP28

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani on Friday urged for global efforts to combat climate change while attending the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai.

“The importance of united efforts and global cooperation to protect our planet cannot be overstated,” President Barzani said on X.

Barzani arrived in Dubai on Thursday to attend the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the UN’s annual climate summit, where dozens of world leaders gathered.

“President Nechirvan Barzani was invited by His Majesty King Charles III and the President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to attend the opening reception of the COP28 Business and Philanthropy Climate Forum this evening in Dubai. The reception precedes the World Climate Action Summit, which begins tomorrow,” read a statement from Kurdistan Region Presidency.

This year is set to become the hottest year ever recorded, the United Nations said on Thursday, warning of the devastating repercussions and demanding immediate action to tackle climate change.

The UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released its provisional State of the Global Climate report saying 2023 had “shattered” climate records and warned of the accompanying “trail of devastation and despair” that would be left behind.

"It's a deafening cacophony of broken records," said WMO chief Petteri Taalas.

Iraq is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change, including water and food insecurity, according to the UN. It is facing a severe water shortage because of reduced precipitation, higher temperatures, and waste and mismanagement.

Scorching temperatures exceeding 50 degrees Celsius where recorded in Iraq this year, coupled with water scarcity, desertification, and reduced rainfall.

According to the UN, over 130,000 people in southern Iraq are prone to displacement by the end of 2023 due to the effects of climate change.

The UN Development Programme’s (UNDP) special representative in Iraq told Rudaw last month that Iraq is severely affected by the impacts of climate change, mainly due to a decrease in water levels, and that the UN is working to assist the Iraqi government to increase water flow into the country.

“As the UNDP we are trying to do something about it [moving from the marshlands}, we are working together with government and other UN agencies to set up programs to support the population in the marshlands,” said Auke Lootsma, adding that the support will be aimed both at adapting to the effects of climate change and at improving the livelihood of the people in the area.

In December of last year, the World Bank estimated that Iraq needs around $233 billion worth of investments by 2040 to respond to the effects of climate change.

At a climate conference in Basra in March, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani announced a plan to plant five million trees to combat desertification, with private banks footing the bill for half a million of the trees.

Iraq’s President Abdul Latif Rashid and Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani are also attending the COP28 summit, leading separate delegations.

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