Youth group urges Arab states to make ambitious pledge to reduce emissions

November 30, 2012 - 4:31:18 am

Members of the Arab Youth Climate Movement play a mock football match during their meeting yesterday. Salim Matramkot

By Fazeena Saleem 

DOHA: The newly formed Arab Youth Climate Movement (AYCM) yesterday urged Qatar specifically and the Arab countries to take serious actions to ambitiously pledge for reduction of carbon emissions.  

The young activists wearing black T-shirts with the slogan ‘Arabs its time to lead’ representing the Middle East and North African countries asked their governments to submit concrete pledges at COP18/CMP8 to reduce Greenhouse gas emissions. 

Arab Youth Climate Movement together with the IndyACT activists demonstrated a stunt illustrating the call for ambitious pledges in a football match, taking into consideration that Qatar will host the next FIFA world cup.

Qatari player tried to kick a pledge into the goalpost to show that making pledges can overcome climate change (goal keeper) to save the environment for the future.  

The activists will march at the Corniche tomorrow for the cause. 

Activists from more than 15 Arab countries including Qatar, Mauritania, Morocco, Jordan, Libya, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Algeria, Sudan, Oman, Egypt and Bahrain will also call on their own leaders - during the first climate negotiations ever held in the Middle East - to pledge to reduce their emissions by 2020.

“It time the Arab countries make a pledge to cut down carbon emissions,” said Reem Al Mealla, Co-ordinator of the Arab Youth Climate Movement speaking at a press conference. 

“Tell the world, Arabs are more than oil,” said Reem, a Bahraini Marine Biology graduate from the Imperial College in London. 

The AYCM has set out to create an environment friendly movement across the Middle East and North Africa, driven by over 20 young national coordinators spread across MENA countries. It’s a nine week young organization with over 1000 members. 

They are in Doha to play their role to solve the climate crisis and will be engaging their delegates, carrying out actions and organizing side events in order to influence the positions of Arab governments in the negotiations and beyond.

“We see this as an opportunity to take actions,” said Reema. 

Young activists strongly calling on their governments to provide adaptation strategies to combat and reduce climate change impacts. However they find it difficult to meet the government representatives during the conference. 

“Meeting our government delegates here is difficult, but we will do it when we go back to our countries,” said Reema. 

AYCM unites activist from across the region launched by IndyACT on November 10, staged a regional day of action in the lead up to the UN climate talks in Doha in their representative counties. 

The Peninsula