We Must Act Now So Our Cites Do Not Reach 60C and Become Uninhabitable

Thursday November 17, 2022; Sharm El-Sheikh (Egypt): Today, at the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, a new initiative is launched to beat the heat rising in Middle Eastern cities.  The Cool Cities and ME (Middle East) Campaign will advance the UN challenge for cities to harness the power of nature for cooling, in the region.

Yalla Healthy Living, an Egyptian-based platform promoting sustainable living, is launching with its partners, a campaign to put the spotlight on rapidly rising temperatures in our cities, driven by climate change. The campaign focuses on:  raising awareness on the need to prepare for extreme heat; on accelerating actions that will mitigate further temperature increases, and helping our cities adapt to extreme heat; and, on harnessing partnerships with local governments, communities and the private sector to deliver community cooling solutions that can immediately impact rising temperatures.

“Climate change is happening so quickly in our region that we really must begin a serious conversation about how we can make our cities livable in the future, using existing solutions that reach everyone,” said Nada Elhusseiny, Managing Director of Yalla Healthy Living. Our region is warming at twice the global average and we can expect an increase in temperature of 4 degrees Celsius by 2050. With many of our cities already experiencing record temperatures of over 50 degrees Celsius (C), we are concerned that many of our cities will be uninhabitable by the end of the century, with average temperatures exceeding 60 degrees C.  We believe that we must encourage action in our cities to both prevent further warming of our planet and to urgently begin adapting to climate change, so that we can live sustainability and have a future.

The Cool Cities and ME Campaign will focus on building coalitions of key stakeholders that can galvanize action within countries and across the Middle East region. The Campaign will promote the use of green infrastructure, like green roofs, and planting local tree varieties that can provide cooling and shading, climate smart urban design, along with existing technologies such as cool roofs and cool pavement coatings that reflect solar radiation. The Campaign will also mobilize and promote new innovations that can cool cities and communities.

“We must bring the private sector to the table so that they can work with local governments and communities to start delivering solutions now, “said Marc Van Ameringen, Director of The Future Food Platform. “At GAF, we have begun to mobilize community members and partner organizations in Los Angeles to help fight urban heat. We have launched a multi-phase project including the use of Streetbond, our solar reflective pavement coating and our cool roofs technologies as part of an initiative to cool the Pacoima community in LA. The same approach can be used across the Middle East and globally to cool cities and communities” according to Jeff Terry, Vice President of Sustainability, GAF Materials Corporation, North America’s largest roofing and waterproofing manufacturer.  The Race to Resilience for our cities and communities will require concerted action across sectors, that not only builds awareness, but draws on blended financing solutions and delivers impact now. Dominic Schofield, Strategic Director of Yalla Healthy Living, emphasized that, “As one of the fastest urbanizing regions in the World, cities in the Middle East are on the frontline of climate chaos. The Cool Cities and ME campaign is aligned with the UN pledge and The Nature for Cool Cities Challenge, and will support concrete actions in the Middle East with demonstrable impact on the road to COP 28, UAE, in 2023.”

For more information contact:
Nada Elhusseiny, ([email protected]; Tel. +20 1005019893)
Or visit our website : www.yallahealthyliving.com .