While Korea has strong credentials because of its leading innovation on green technology, the United Nations selected Qatar to host the COP 18 Summit (i.e. the 18th Conference of of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) next year in Doha. As with the case of the 2022 World Cup, the decision should not be so surprising. The rest of the world has got to engage, not enrage, the Middle East and the Arab World. The opportunity to host global event related to climate change makes this region a vital stakeholder and has them involved in the fight to find solutions on the climate volatility front--not that these summits find much success.

Some critics point out that Qatar has a massive CO2 footprint, and when you look at CO2 emissions per capital, Qatar has the highest in the world. Fair enough--mi\uch of Qatar’s emissions comes from natural gas flaring and the country has taken steps to reduce that wasteful practice. But at the same time Qatar has become a focal point for sustainability and innovation within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Even an upcoming World Petroleum Congress promises to be carbon neutral. Qatar is cognizant that it has a huge opportunity to show the world its work on green building and solar investment. The UN’s decision, whether anything is accomplished or not, is a positive one.

Incidentally, Korea will host a high level ministerial meeting before COP 18; not a bad consolation prize!

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he is a business writer and consultant. His work is has also appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. He's pictured here in Qatar, one of the Middle East countries in which he takes a keen interest because of its transformation into a post-oil economy. Other areas of interest include sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (@LeonKaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). As of October 2013, he now lives and works in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.