Hussein Al-Rahili, an international expert specializing in water resources at the University of Sciences in Tunisia, said that the UAE, with its investments in renewable energy, wind, and solar power, along with its capabilities, will make the discussions at this summit constructive.
He added, “We hope that COP28 will be an exceptional summit, producing bolder and more actionable decisions.”
Furthermore, he anticipates that the climate summit “COP28” will follow the same direction as the Sharm El-Sheikh summit, which, for the first time, served as an important platform for civil society organizations and international unions that played a significant role in pushing for political decisions to take financial actions and establish an assistance fund for impoverished countries to mitigate damage.
On another note, Al-Rahili stated that global warming is a result of the increase in greenhouse gas levels and is a natural phenomenon accompanying Earth’s history. It intensifies when gas levels become excessively high in a short period.
He confirmed that humanity has produced massive amounts of greenhouse gases to the extent that it accelerated these climate changes, making it more challenging for the Earth. He continued, “The entire world has felt the staggering increase in temperatures, with the last Julys and Augusts being the hottest months on Earth since humans began measuring temperatures.”
Furthermore, he pointed out that Tunisia has been experiencing continuous drought for the past five years, affecting water reserves and weakening agricultural crops such as grains, vegetables, and cereals.
He considered climate changes no longer a matter of laboratory research but something that people are starting to feel. He stated, “This awareness is the beginning of realizing its dangers, so solutions must be found for the near and distant future.”
Al-Rahili believes that rich countries are responsible for global warming, saying, “For example, the United States and China contributed 48.5% of greenhouse gas emissions.”
He continued, “Africa is one of the continents most affected, even though it contributes only about 3% of these gases. This is clear evidence that poor countries are more vulnerable to risks and bear the burdens of climate changes because adapting and coping with these changes requires a significant amount of money. These are debt-ridden countries that cannot withstand all of this.”
He emphasized that during the climate summit in Paris in 2015, $300 billion were allocated to assist poor countries in adaptation and resilience. However, since then, no financial resources of that magnitude have been allocated in subsequent summits.
He added, “Similarly, during COP27, which was held in Sharm El-Sheikh, those funds dwindled to $100 billion.”
He went on to say, “The longer these promises from rich countries are delayed, the more the effects of climate change on poor countries increase, affecting resources, agricultural production, leading to famines, deteriorating purchasing power, and increasing climate migration from southern to northern countries.”
Environmental Balances Disrupted
Al-Rahili pointed out that environmental balances are disrupted, saying, “Oceans, which used to play a significant role in absorbing large amounts of carbon dioxide, have seen their temperatures rise, diminishing their role.”
He continued, “El Niño and La Niña systems, which had the ability to mitigate the weather, have also been damaged.”
For reference, “El Niño” and “La Niña” are two climate phenomena that occur in the tropical region of the Pacific Ocean. El Niño, which still affects the world, occurs due to higher sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean above average levels.
In contrast, La Niña occurs due to lower sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean below average levels, and both phenomena lead to various severe weather disturbances on a global scale.
Al-Rahili stressed that global environmental systems have begun to be affected by these changes, stating, “Islands, wetlands, and fragile ecosystems are the most affected by climate change.