After boycotting COP27 in Egypt due to concerns about the human rights situation there, Flemish Environment Minister Zuhal Demir has already confirmed she will not be attending next year’s climate summit in Dubai, either.
On Wednesday, Demir announced she will not be attending the 28th UN climate conference (COP28), which will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) next year. In her statement, she mainly referred to practical issues rather than a moral explanation as she did this year when announcing she would not be attending this year’s edition in Sharm-el-Sheikh.
“As I will not be chair of the National Climate Commission next year and will also no longer be a spokesperson on behalf of Belgium for the European Environment Council, I would have no formal duties during the COP,” she said. “Consequently, I will not travel to the UAE.”
However, in her announcement, she made a subtle dig at the conference and the fact it was being held in the major oil-producing country on the Arabian peninsula, which is the world’s fifth largest emitter.
Still opting for fossil
Our World in Data figures showed 23 tonnes of CO2 emissions per capita was emitted in the UAE last year, more than three times higher than the global average (around five tonnes per person).
“Fortunately, the strength of good climate policy is not determined by how many hands you shake in the desert, but by the policy you implement yourself,” she said, adding that Flanders will be able to present a solid record of bold measures in which it leads the way in Europe.
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