Activists at COP28 Challenge "Green Colonialism"

Awan Media
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Activists at COP28 Challenge "Green Colonialism"

With prominent veins and spots of sweat on his forehead, Tariq Louthen entered the conference room and took his place behind the microphone. He stood alongside other speakers and wore the Palestinian keffiyeh to participate in a press conference in solidarity with Palestine and climate justice. 

This coincided with the first day of the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP28. Louthen introduced himself as a Gazan first, and a storyteller and journalist second, and then he said: “It is not possible to achieve a green world with roots soaked in blood.”

COP28 is held in Expo City in the Dubai, which has been crowded since the first day with about 100,000 participants of diverse nationalities and cultural and professional backgrounds, each of whom carries a blue ribbon around their neck connected to an identification card.

As the official delegations from the countries participating in the Climate Action Summit approached, groups of activists began distributing ribbons to passersby bearing the colors of the Palestinian flag, with the word "solidarity” written on them in Arabic.

This global event comes at a time when Gaza is exposed to a war that has so far resulted in the extermination of more than 1% of its population (if we include those missing), and the wounding of about 3% of them. Hence, the war casts a shadow on the event in which world leaders meet to discuss climate change and try to activate the loss and damage fund for the countries that contribute least to carbon emissions, and those most affected by them. 

This is a summary. Read the full piece in Arabic on Awan Media's website.

The story was produced as part of the COP28 Climate Change Media Partnership Reporting Fellowship co-organized by the Internews’ Earth Journalism Network and the Stanley Center for Peace and Security. It was first published in Arabic in Awan Media on 6 December 2023. It has been translated to English and lightly edited for length and clarity.

Banner image: An attendee takes notes during a session at COP28 / Credit: COP28/Kiara Worth.

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