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COP28 Event: Making MENA Economies Fit for the Future

Decarbonizing Industries through Sustainable and Efficient Energy Use

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The MENA region stands at a crossroads in its economic journey, facing the urgent need to decarbonize industries through sustainable and efficient energy use and looking at far-reaching potentials regarding renewable energy production and use. Historically, the region has relied heavily on energy intensive industries, often powered by fossil fuels. However, the global landscape is evolving rapidly, with climate objectives necessitating decisive progress in decarbonisation and new regulatory approaches, such as the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), which came into force in October 2023, adding pressure to decarbonize industries and supply chains. This means that MENA industries must reconsider their energy consumption and carbon footprint to remain competitive in international markets. It is a transformative moment, driven by both environmental concerns and economic imperatives.


Key objective

In this context, the panel "Making MENA Economies Fit for the Future: Decarbonising Industries through Sustainable and Efficient Energy Use," seeks to explore how industries in the region can navigate this shift.


Panel questions

The panel discussion aims to discuss crucial questions including: What is the pathway for MENA industries to transition from energy intensive, high-carbon processes to sustainable, energy efficient models? How can MENA industries harness their renewable energy potential in order to adapt to the new global standards? What role can Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors play in view of the latest European and international legal and regulatory directives and the underlying opportunities they represent for different industries? What steps have been taken by private sector actors to accelerate their decarbonisation? In addition, how will this necessary transition of MENA industries impact geopolitical balances in the region?

By addressing these questions, the panel aims to foster the regional dialogue around the potentials for transforming MENA economies, aligning them with national, regional and global climate objectives, and fostering economic growth that is not only resilient but also environmentally responsible.


Panel discussion speakers:


  • Jauad El-Kharraz, Executive Director, Regional Center for Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency (RCREEE)
  • Hanan Hanzaz, Chief, Regional Bureau for the Arab Region, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
  • Kelsey Goodman, Associate Director, Middle East and North Africa, World Economic Forum
  • Yasser Akkaoui, Founder, Capital Concept & Managing Director, Executive Magazine
  • Afaf Zarkik, Senior Economist, Policy Center for the New South


Veronika Ertl, Director, Regional Programme Energy Security and Climate Change Middle East and North Africa, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS-REMENA)


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