DUBAI — The Emirati leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also the prime minister and vice president of the United Arab Emirates, said on Monday that the country will host next year’s United Nations climate change conference, the United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP28), and “will be ready in 2023,” according to reports by Agence France-Presse.
“The international community is obliged to make firm and coordinated decisions on climate,” he told the delegates during a ceremony to inaugurate the fifth round of talks on a draft draft agreement to be implemented at COP24, also held in Dubai, in November.
Dubai has been criticized for its scorching summer weather, which has exceeded 44°C for consecutive months. The heat in Dubai averages between around 35°C and 40°C, and in June, in the summer heat of about 43°C, meteorologists declared that the heatwave there was so extreme it was classified as an “ultra-hyper” heatwave.
The heatwave killed 17 people and as many as 150 people a year because of suffering from heatstroke or asthma. But the heat has benefited Dubai’s real estate sector, and the real estate market in the country posted five years of growth.
Last month, Al Maktoum, in the midst of Dubai’s last round of climate change talks, talked about the importance of the coming climate talks.
“The signs of the impact of climate change on the UAE, together with the international community, require concrete measures to slow it down and limit its severity,” he said during a closed-door meeting with top government officials, according to the Reuters news agency. “We need to achieve a balance between growth and energy production.”
The United Arab Emirates has been accused of being hypocritical when it comes to the environment. UAE leaders sell air conditioners to citizens at $140 each, giving them the option of eliminating human freedom to choose if they want to keep cool, but it remains to be seen if Dubai’s concerted effort will be able to prevent the country from losing its head over the climate negotiations.
Read the full story at the New York Times.
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