The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has official invited Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani and Prime Minister Masrour Barzani to attend the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP28).
The COP28 conference, scheduled for December 1-2 in Dubai, aims to assess how efforts to tackle climate change are falling short of the Paris Agreement goals and discuss plans to get on track.
On Sunday, October 8, UAE Consul General Ahmed Aldhaheri met with the Kurdish leaders separately and presented the official invitation letters from Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE.
While the Kurdistan Region has minimal impact on climate change and global warming, the Kurdish leaders have repeatedly expressed commitment to international efforts to address current and future challenges.
The United Nations has ranked Iraq as the fifth most vulnerable country in the world to the negative impacts of climate change. Significant numbers of people, especially in the southern regions of Iraq, have already been forced to relocate due to factors such as drought, desertification, and rising salinity levels in the rivers.
In the Kurdistan Region, however, the government appears to be actively working to safeguard its vital resources for the 6-million population. In recent years, multiple large and medium-sized dams, along with several dozens of ponds, have been launched to ensure the water security of the region and promote agriculture.
The regional government of Kurdistan is also collaborating with international partners to reduce the environmental impact of flare gas from its oil fields and instead utilize it for electricity production.
"By implementing environmentally friendly policies, the ninth cabinet [of the Kurdistan Regional Government] has demonstrated its commitment to minimizing the negative effects of waste gas on the environment," the KRG said in a statement earlier this year in June.