COP27: A complete guide to Arab states attending the UN climate change summit

COP27: A complete guide to Arab states attending the UN climate change summit
5 min read
09 November, 2022
Arab leaders are in Egypt this week to attend the COP27 UN climate change conference in Sharm El-Sheikh.
Arab states have stressed that regional cooperation is needed to effectively tackle climate change [Getty]

Arab leaders are taking part in the COP27 summit in Egypt, with many using the conference as a way to present their green credentials and willingness for regional cooperation. 

Here is all those who are in attendance: 


Egypt has tried hard to cultivate an image of itself as a regional leader on climate change, and as an impartial arbiter at the conference. 

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, for example, used his opening address to urge countries to do more to show environmental crises are being taken seriously. 

"The time has arrived, the time to work. There's no room for retreat or excuses. Missing the opportunity means the loss of our legacy and the future of our children and grandchildren," he said. 

Many have criticised Cairo's role as host given the country's track record of prolific human rights abuses, including the imprisonment of Alaa Abdel Fattah and other pro-democracy activists.

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Saudi Arabia 

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman travelled to Egypt to participate in the Second Green Middle East Initiative, which is taking place in tandem with COP27. 

The de facto Saudi leader pledged $2.5 billion to the initiative over the next ten years. 

At the climate change conference itself, Riyadh announced 66 new environmental initiatives - which were just a few of the total initiatives it has planned as part of the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI), according to one Saudi engineer. 

Albaraa Aldhahri, project manager at the SGI, said: "Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman [announced] the SGI to position Saudi Arabia at the vanguard of the fight against climate change." 

Saudi Arabia has been accused of committing 'greenwashing', pushing climate-friendly initiatives that do little to offset its heavy economic dependence on oil.


Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, president of the UAE, said in his address made at COP27 that climate change will magnify already intricate and complex challenges such as global stability and security. 

"Since we only have one planet, it is essential that we bring together our efforts to address this challenge," he said.

Abu Dhabi has said it will seek carbon neutrality by 2050.  

During the conference, UAE and Egyptian firms signed an agreement to develop one of the largest wind farms in the world in Egypt. 

More controversially, Israel and Jordan signed a memorandum of understanding for a UAE-funded water-for-power project on Tuesday


Qatar’s Environment Minister Dr Faleh bin Nasser bin Ahmed bin Ali Al-Thani visited the country’s pavilion in Sharm El-Sheikh.  

The minister used the visit to speak about the country's "achievements" when it comes to tackling climate change, including reforms in the oil and gas sector as well as infrastructure and water investments, reported the Gulf Times. 


Kuwait committed to becoming carbon neutral in the oil and gas sector by 2050, Foreign Minister Salem al-Sabah told state news agency KUNA on Monday. 

Al-Sabah said the oil-producing country was dedicated to this "solid serious pledge". 

The country’s crown prince, Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, also voiced Kuwait's commitment to environmental reform when addressing the Middle East Green Initiative summit held alongside COP27. 


Oman’s Minister of Energy and Minerals Salim Nassir Al Aufi attended the conference and affirmed his country’s commitment to tackling climate change. 

The Gulf state has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

It also seeks to develop a "world-scale green hydrogen industry", according to Times of Oman. 


Jordan's King Abdullah sought to present his country as a "regional hub for green growth" when speaking at COP27. 

The royal said Amman, which is set to face severe water scarcity issues by the end of this decade, will work with its regional neighbours including Egypt, Iraq, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to build climate resilience in the Middle East, reported Jordan Times. 

Jordan has championed a "Climate/Refugee Nexus Initiative" at the conference which aims to "prioritise support for host countries that bear the brunt of climate change". 

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Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh attended the climate change conference in Egypt. 

The minister allegedly met with other regional leaders, including Israeli officials, in a closed-door gathering about regional responses to climate change, reported Haaretz

Shtayyeh spoke about the lack of drinking water available in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli media outlet said. 


Lebanon’s Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati attended COP27 and warned that climate change could yet worsen the collapse of his country’s economy. 

"Climate change will cause a 14 percent decrease in Lebanon’s GDP by 2040, and a further decrease to 32 percent by 2080," Mikati said. 

The Lebanese leader was allegedly at the high-level meeting between Middle Eastern nations, including Israeli and Palestinian representatives, on Tuesday. 

He has denied interacting with Israeli officials at the meeting.


More than 200 Iraqis representing government, youth and civil society participated in COP27, according to a UN statement. 

"Iraq is at the frontlines of the climate crisis and one of the countries in the world most vulnerable to climate change, while its citizens suffer from devastating impacts of heat waves, sand and dust storms, flash floods, droughts, land degradation... and water scarcity," said Ghulam Isaczai, a Resident Coordinator. 

Iraq’s President Abdul Latif Rashid attended the summit and was at Tuesday’s high-level meeting including Lebanese, Israeli and Palestinian representatives, sparking outrage.

Lebanon, Israel and Iraq also agreed to cooperate on climate change issues, in a sign of possible normalisation between the countries. Lebanon and Iraq do not recognise Israel.  

Delivering a speech, Rashid said water scarcity is one of the most predominant climate-related problems faced by Iraqis. 

Drought and lack of rain in recent years have imposed "dangerous challenges" on Iraq’s agricultural and livestock wealth, he said.