*Qatar 2022 World Cup to be a sustainable event, says Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry
Qatar is well positioned to be one of the countries that helps in the transitional process of diversifying economies which mainly rely on oil and gas, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry has said.
“Qatar has a great ability to be able to make an example through – I mean, first of all the World Cup, I understand, is going to be a sustainable event, and they’re working very hard to make that happen and to offset emissions and so forth.” he told reporters at a telephonic press briefing on Thursday (July 1).
Kerry discussed a number of developments, particularly the need for further collaboration aimed at intensifying the efforts to combat climate change, during his recent visit to the Middle East and North Africa.
Part of the briefing also include the need to raise climate ambition ahead of the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change later this year and beyond, “and prospects for enhanced climate co-operation with the United States.”
“Qatar has taken part in this regional dialogue. So we have high expectations that leadership by example will be part of the transitional process of diversifying economies in a part of the world where everybody has been super-dependent, obviously, on one source, one particular source of revenue,” Kerry said.
He noted that Qatar – well placed to lead in such transition – has the opportunity to set the example on how to implement these green initiatives in a sustainable manner.
"I think that’s a key and I know that the leaders of Qatar have said they are committed to doing that, so that’s a very big, important first step,” the envoy stressed.
He noted that Qatar, like other countries in the region, has been trying to diversify its economy by bringing in different kinds of economic stimulus, “for instance, university or museum or tourism, other kinds of things that have an ability to be able to attract people and revenue.”
Kerry said he is looking forward to visiting Qatar “to get a deeper briefing on specifically what the vision is, the longer-term, larger vision.
“I do know that the leaders I’ve talked to indicate that this is something they’re very seized with. They know that no matter what happens, with or without climate crisis, oil and gas are not renewable.”
“Every society dependent on a non-renewable resource is going to have to find alternatives for the future. So this is something that people have been seized with for some period of time. I think they’re at different levels to which people have moved effectively, and I will be very interested to get up to speed, up to date, if you will, when I do visit Qatar,” Kerry added.
He lauded the efforts Gulf countries in addressing climate change, saying they are keen to deploying various renewable energy projects.
Kerry also underscored the importance of using technology to combat climate change, stressing “that’s where the funding is so critical, and the world has to get serious about this issue.”
“We can’t run around the world talking about what a crisis it is and what a major challenge to humanity, and then nobody is willing to invest in the technologies and the solutions and the – and just processes,” he said.
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