By Isabel Ovalle
DOHA: The Chairman of the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority H E Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah, who is also the President of COP18/CMP8, yesterday inaugurated the Qatar Sustainability Expo with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, was also present and took a tour through the exhibition together with other authorities and VIP guests.
With this expo the Qatari government aims to let the world know about the range of sustainable initiatives undertaken, both by various public departments and by local and international organisations.
Coinciding with the grand opening of the expo, the Minister of Energy and Industry and Chairman and Managing Director of Qatar Petroleum, H E Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada, presented an official copy of the Energy and Industry Sustainability Report to the president of COP18.
The Minister of Energy talked about Qatar’s sustainable development programmes, referring also to the country’s approach to climate change. “In a short amount of time, many companies are working on sustainability and promoting sustainable programmes,” Dr Al Sada said.
About the report, he said that “it captures the essence of the sustainable development efforts of the major companies of the Energy Sector of Qatar. Giving emphasis to priority issues such as safety measures and quality of safety performance, as well as the sector’s climate change approach that includes several actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”.
During a press briefing, the president of COP18, said: “We are confident we are on the right track, dedicating a lot of funds to be sure we are on the way to sustainably reduce the emissions”.
Al Attiyah added that Qatar began implementing green politics “many years ago”. About the country’s high CO2 emissions, he said that reports that present the quantity of emissions per capita are “misleading” when they refer to small states like Qatar.
Figueres congratulated Qatar for opening an expo to let the world know what is being done in the region on sustainability and climate change. The UN official also referred to the objectives of COP18, clarifying that in Doha the main issue to address are the rules that will apply to the new commitment period to the Kyoto protocol.
The European Union, Australia, Norway and Switzerland have already confirmed they will say yes to the new commitment period, as well as Qatar, while the US (which never ratified the Protocol), Russia, Canada and Japan, will not. The Qatar Sustainability Expo, which has been organised by International Fairs and Promotions and overseen by the Ministry of the Environment, will be open to the public from today until to December 7.
It will be free to the public and feature a range of activities for all ages, designed to stimulate sustainable thinking and highlight eco-friendly initiatives in Qatar.