Jordan's King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein speaks during the High-Level Segment for Heads of State and Government session at the United Nations climate summit in Dubai on December 1, 2023. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Jordan’s King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein said Friday that war was making the threats from climate change even worse in the Gaza Strip, as hostilities resumed between Israel and Hamas after a weeklong truce.

King Abdullah II told the UN’s COP28 climate conference in Dubai that “we cannot talk about climate change in isolation from the humanitarian tragedies unfolding around us”.

“In Gaza, over 1.7 million Palestinians have been displaced from their homes. Tens of thousands have been injured or killed in a region already on the front lines of climate change,” he said.

“The massive destruction of war makes the environmental threats of water scarcity and food insecurity even more severe.

“In Gaza, our people are living with little clean water and the bare minimum of food supplies, as climate threats magnify the devastation of war.”

King Abdullah II said conflict-ridden communities, refugees and developing countries must not be left alone to face a global problem.

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Massive destruction in Gaza

“Nor can we stand by as the massive destruction of a relentless war in Gaza threatens more people and holds back progress towards a better global future. Current and future generations will hold us all accountable,” the Jordanian King said.

Jordan contributes a slim 0.06 per cent to global greenhouse gases. Yet, we are greatly impacted by global climate change, which has caused threats to scarce water resources, food sources, and eco-diversity.

“Nationally, with a strong talent pool of young entrepreneurs and qualified engineers, we are pressing forward with solutions in climate-smart agriculture, water conservation, clean energy innovations, and more. And some of our innovators are showcasing their work here at COP28,” he added.

Green Finance

Jordan also launched its Green Finance Strategy and issued its first green bond earlier this year.

“Despite the challenges, Jordan has set an example in the region as a climate-action pioneer and is emerging as a green tech hub. Yet, just as the impact of climate change does not take place in a vacuum — no country’s response succeeds alone.

“The Global Stocktake has shown us that our world is still far behind in achieving the goals set by the Paris Agreement. As we work to catch up on the lost time and progress, we cannot forget the most vulnerable,” he stated.