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The first-ever Middle East and North Africa Climate Week, MENACW 2022, wrapped up last week, providing important input and momentum for a successful COP27 in Egypt that will be held later this year.
Around 4000 participants joined MENA Climate Week, with UITP leading – alongside our main partners Slocat and UIC – the transport sector’s input to the Weeks activities, under the UNFCCC’s Global Climate Action Agenda.
The urgent need to upscale climate action and build on local knowledge in the region was the focus of MENA Climate Week. “Communicating what the challenges and opportunities are, is critical if policy makers are to know what needs to be done to enable the public transport sector to take action”, said Philip Turner, UITP’s Head of Sustainable Development. “But just as important, is to show what our members are doing as this provides an inspiration for others and demonstrates what can be done when our sector is enabled”.
UITP events, which were held on each day of the MENA Week, showcased the public transport investments of more than $100 billion currently underway across the MENA region and the untapped climate mitigation potential that they possess.
“Significant investments in public transport projects show that the MENA region is witnessing a clear paradigm shift towards more sustainable transport”, says Ayman Smadi, Director – UITP MENA Regional Office. “We were proud to be at the MENA Climate Week to showcase state-of-the-art knowledge, best practice and advocacy actions of our members in the region”.
UITP also co-supported an event with the Islamic Development Bank, which examined with a range of governments in the region, how to place public transport at the heart of urban mobility as we bounce back from the Covid-19 pandemic. It helped to shed a light on the importance of financial support at both national and international levels, as this will ensure that our cities are more resilient but also greener.
Critically, UITP’s presence at the MENACW contributes to the start of the ‘Global Stock Take’, a process where countries take stock of where they are, so that they can identify what more needs to be done as well as opportunities for increased action towards net zero emissions. Clearly, the transport sector will be critical to that assessment and UITP’s activities during the Week have helped to show how a bottom-up approach of efforts being taken by our members can increase the level of climate ambition we urgently need.
“My key takeaway from the MENA Climate Week, is that our member’s actions help to supplement and reinforces the crucial climate plans of governments as we strive towards the objectives of the Paris Agreement”, said Philip. “We need to continue showcasing leading efforts being taken by our members towards net-zero public transport as it sends a clear message to the international community on the route to COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh this year”.