Peter Rademaker, International Labour Organisation (ILO) Deputy Regional Director for the Arab States, has confirmed that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region could create 10 million new jobs and accelerate GDP to 7.2% by 2050 via taking a serious approach to climate action.

In a statement to the Emirates News Agency (WAM) on the sidelines of COP28, Rademaker said that the trend towards new energy has helped to create 13.7 million jobs in the renewable energy sector worldwide.

He revealed that the report "Social and Employment Impacts of Carbon Removal and Green Industrial Growth: Scenarios for the MENA Region" will be launched today during COP28. He explained that the report is the first of its kind conducted by the ILO and the Islamic Development Bank on the MENA region.

The ILO Deputy Regional Director for Arab States stressed the need for countries to follow enhanced energy policies, link climate to development policies and investment.

He confirmed that the ILO is participating in COP28 to ensure that climate change efforts include all people worldwide, to ensure their commitment to addressing this phenomenon, and to monitor the consequences of its impact on jobs in many regions, including MENA.

He added, "According to our assessments in the MENA region, there'll be a total of 6.6 million jobs created thanks to a just transition approach to climate change."

He praised the UAE's efforts in operationalising the Loss and Damage Fund, as it was the first country to support the Fund. He described the step as crucial in pushing climate action and "taking care of people affected by climate change", especially those who will lose their jobs, as well as providing some alternative livelihoods.

He added, "It's important that this cop really takes on board all the views, all of society. So it's important that governments are negotiated, but it's important also that around the blue and Green Zone, delegates listen to what people have to say. NGOs, trade union, the private sector, and indeed, this just transition approach really becomes the cornerstone of what comes out of this cop in the UAE."