Fighting Hand in Hand To Save Our Planet

Fighting Hand in Hand To Save Our Planet

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, October 28

The pandemic has taught this world an important lesson: that the greatest challenge to humanity’s future is not weapons or wars, but the environment. There is no life on the planet without a clean environment, and an invisible germ can pose a threat of global annihilation. Environmental danger knows no national borders. In addition to its millions of victims, the pandemic destroyed the economies of the world, spread unemployment and poverty, and decimated many industries and commerce. The most important thing about Saudi Arabia’s recently announced “Middle East Green Initiative” – aimed at securing $10.4 billion for an investment fund in clean energy, as a part of efforts to reduce regional carbon emissions – is that it takes a multilateral approach consisting of all countries in the region. We no longer have the luxury of waiting to deal with climate change on a one-off basis. Those who study the threat of climate change understand that politics don’t really matter; there are more urgent issues to fight. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman unveiled this ambitious plan last week at a global summit held in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, which was attended by regional and international leaders including US climate envoy John Kerry. There, Bin Salman committed that his country would reach net zero emissions by 2060. Indeed, the pandemic was a lesson for all of us: not only of the threat of an invisible germ, but also of the power and potential of the human spirit. After all, the same civilization threatened by COVID-19 is also the same one that, in record speed, managed to develop a vaccine that would fight it. It also brought together many of the world’s nations to work hand in hand against a common enemy. This is the age we’re now living in: an age where there is no other choice but for all of us to fight together, hand in hand, to save our planet. – Samir Atallah (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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