Bahrain has been accused of “textbook greenwashing” by a group of UK parliamentarians, as the Gulf state highlighted its environmental credentials at COP26 while continuing to assist in the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa was in Glasgow this week for the United Nations’ annual climate conference, where he met British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on the sidelines.
Prince Salman emphasized Bahrain’s goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2060, as well as initiatives to safeguard the environment, during the meeting.
In a joint letter to the Crown Prince, six peers and members of parliament, including former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, claimed Bahrain’s ongoing participation in the Saudi-led “reckless bombing campaign” in Yemen undercut this promise.
According to the organization, the battle ruined ecosystems and poisoned soil and water, resulting in unparalleled poverty and sickness.
“The war in Yemen has devastated Yemeni society and its unique and fragile landscape and heritage. Boasting about your green credentials while backing a coalition that bombs agriculture and water resources is textbook greenwashing,” Baroness Bennett, a signatory, told a local newspaper.
“Until concrete steps are taken to bring the conflict to an end, Bahrain’s claims of work towards a green vision should not be taken seriously,” he added.
Bahrain’s detention of political prisoners, according to UK lawmakers, runs counter to the country’s proclaimed goals of fostering sustainable development that “supports future generations.”
Bahrain has vigorously rejected allegations that it is detaining and mistreating political detainees, as well as assertions that crimes are being perpetrated in Yemen’s civil conflict.
The six British parliamentarians expressed their alarm in a letter sent on Tuesday, citing “systematic medical negligence” in Bahrain’s “notoriously unsanitary and overcrowded” jails.