Glasgow Caledonian University will take part in a series of events at the first ever Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Climate Week in Dubai.

MENA provides a platform for governments, cities, private-sector leaders, financial institutions and civil society to discuss opportunities to enhance climate action following the coronavirus pandemic. The Climate Week event will bring together key stakeholders to take the pulse of climate action in the region, explore climate challenges and opportunities and showcase ambitious solutions.

The University’s Centre for Climate Justice will be in the United Arab Emirates from March 28-31, firstly hosting its own event on March 29, which will explore how climate finance can help women and girls adapt to climate change. 

Professor Tahseen Jafry, the Centre’s director, will moderate the event, which will feature contributions from Dr Mary Robinson, global thought leader on climate justice; ​Gonzalo Muñoz, High Level Climate Action Champion for COP 25; Dr Balgis Osman-Elasha, Chief Climate Change Officer for North Africa, African Development Bank; and Dr Mahmouds, Egyptian Climate Action Champion.

Professor Jafry said: “MENA Climate Week will build on last year’s COP 26 and open an opportunity to address social inequalities and invest in economic development that is good for humanity and nature.

“Building resilience of women and girls to help them cope with a changing climate requires climate finance to be directed to support their adaptation needs now rather than what is currently commonplace; reactive directing of investment to climate disasters as and after they happen. 

“The focus of this event is to shine a spotlight on how climate finance can and must be enabled in terms of investing in people – especially women and girls; recognising and supporting their needs, wants, desires and aspirations. These range from mental health and wellbeing support needs, which arise from the impacts of climate change, right through to finding creative and innovative ways to build resilience through entrepreneurship, income generation, education and capacity building, so that they can lead and contribute to economically strong households that can withstand the impacts of climate change and other disasters.”

Professor Jafry will also explore this theme at a COP26 Catalyst for Climate Action event, a UK COP26 Presidency initiative that provides a framework to convene programmes, projects and expertise on capacity building across five thematic areas.

On March 30, she will then participate in a UN-backed Race to Resilience event, of which the Centre for Climate Justice is an official partner, focusing on what Race to Resilience partners are doing in the MENA region to build the resilience of communities and businesses, and to protect the lives and livelihoods of people most vulnerable to climate change.