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Introducing the Green Charter: MENA Countries’ Path to Renewable Energy Leadership

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has long been recognized for its abundant reserves of fossil fuels. However, with growing concerns about climate change and the need to transition to sustainable energy sources, MENA countries are increasingly focusing on renewable energy. To accelerate this transition and make the region a global leader in renewable energy, a visionary initiative called the “Green Charter” is being proposed, outlining a roadmap for MENA countries to achieve their green goals by 2050.

The Green Charter is a comprehensive strategy that aims to foster collaboration among MENA countries and key stakeholders, including governments, private sector entities, and organizations, to drive the region’s transition to renewable energy sources. The charter envisions a future where the MENA region is not only known for its oil and gas reserves, but also for its cutting-edge technologies, research and development, and leadership in renewable energy solutions.

One of the key objectives of the Green Charter is to establish the MENA region as a global hub for renewable energy. According to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the MENA region has the potential to generate over 3,500 terawatt-hours (TWh) of renewable energy by 2030, which is equivalent to twice the current electricity demand of the region. The charter envisions MENA countries working together to leverage their vast renewable energy potential, such as solar, wind, and hydropower resources, to become leading exporters of green hydrogen, a promising clean energy carrier. This would not only create new economic opportunities for the region, but also contribute to global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.

Another critical element of the Green Charter is the goal of achieving zero emissions by 2050. The charter calls for MENA countries to adopt ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and to implement robust policies and regulations to support the transition to renewable energy sources. According to the “Emissions Gap Report 2020” by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Middle East and North Africa region has the potential to reduce its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 1.1 billion tonnes by 2030 through renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency measures. This includes incentivizing renewable energy investments, promoting energy efficiency, and phasing out subsidies for fossil fuels. The charter also highlights the importance of research and development to drive innovation in renewable energy technologies, including energy storage and grid integration, to accelerate the transition to a zero-emission future.

Raising awareness about climate change and the importance of renewable energy is a fundamental pillar of the Green Charter. The charter emphasizes the need to engage in public outreach and education campaigns to increase awareness about the urgency of climate action, and to foster a culture of sustainability and responsible energy consumption among communities and future generations. According to a report by the Arab Youth Climate Movement, 86% of young people in the MENA region believe that climate change is a major threat to their communities, and 90% of them are willing to take action to address it. This includes promoting environmental education in schools and universities, as well as public awareness campaigns to encourage sustainable practices at individual and community levels.

The Green Charter also recognizes the role of carbon markets in accelerating the transition to renewable energy. The charter calls for the establishment of a regional carbon market that includes mechanisms such as carbon funds and carbon taxes to incentivize emission reductions and support renewable energy projects. According to a report by the World Bank, carbon pricing mechanisms, including carbon markets, can contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% or more in the MENA region by 2030. This would create a financial incentive for businesses and governments to invest in renewable energy solutions, and provide a mechanism for generating revenues


By IMED derouiche

Energy expert, President of H2GHUB