UAE calls for inclusive climate action that drives sustainable economic growth

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Glasgow: Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Special Envoy for Climate Change, delivered an open invitation from the UAE to the world for partnership to find sustainable solutions that will tackle climate change and create sustainable economic growth with positive social impact.

Dr. Al Jaber made the invitation when he delivered the UAE’s National Statement to the 26th session of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.

He conveyed to delegates warm greetings from the leadership, government and people of the UAE, as the country focuses on building international cooperation, and developing valuable partnerships to advance global progress, in the same spirit in which the UAE has welcomed the world to Expo 2020 Dubai – ‘connecting minds, creating the future’.

Dr. Al Jaber also expressed sincere gratitude towards the Asia Pacific Group of nations for their endorsement of the UAE’s bid to host COP28 in 2023.

He told COP26 delegates, “We are proud to have been endorsed as the hosts of COP28 by the Asia Pacific Group of nations. I would also like to pay tributes to all partners and friends backing our nation’s bid. We look forward to upcoming sessions and discussions with the aim of securing international support for our offer to be confirmed as the host of COP28 by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The UAE is honoured to welcome all parties to work on developing an ambitious agenda for COP28 in 2023 that will accelerate the development of practical solutions and make crucial progress on climate action”.

Dr. Al Jaber highlighted the UAE’s expertise in climate action, its focus on sustainable growth, and its capabilities and potential for hosting the world’s largest and most important international climate change event. He said, “Our nation’s Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, set out the principles of sustainability in all sectors. These principles have been integral to our nation’s efforts in protecting the environment, diversifying energy sources, and developing policies to reduce the impact of climate change. The effects of climate change transcend borders, and are relevant to all nations, small or large, developed or developing, rich or poor.”

The visionary UAE leadership views climate action as an opportunity for sustainable economic and social growth, and this drives the country’s climate strategy.

Dr. Al Jaber said that global climate action must address the different needs of all stakeholders. He told delegates, “We should avoid a one-size-fits-all approach.”

He said the UAE has entered a new era of transition in the energy sector. “We view this as an opportunity to focus on new paths towards the future. We believe that investing in low-carbon solutions in the energy sector will drive economic prosperity. Launched last October, the UAE ‘Net Zero by 2050’ Strategic Initiative reflects the vision of our leadership and the ambitions we have outlined for the ‘Next 50’ years of our nation. It is also an open call from the UAE to the world for partnership and cooperation to find sustainable solutions, while creating incentives for economic growth.”

The UAE has pledged to make climate security a priority when it joins the UN Security Council in 2022. Fulfilling the US$100 billion pledge by developed nations to support climate action in developing countries will play a vital role in mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change. In addition, there is a strong need to create an investment ecosystem to support sustainable growth.

At COP26, the UAE and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), headquartered in Abu Dhabi, announced the Energy Transition Accelerator Financing (ETAF) Platform, a new global climate finance facility to accelerate the transition to renewable energy in developing countries. The UAE committed US$400 million in funding provided by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) toward the platform’s goal of securing a minimum of US$1 billion in total funding.

Further, the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate) – a major new initiative led by the UAE and United States (US) with the support of over 30 governments – was also officially launched. AIM for Climate announced an “early harvest” of US$4 billion of increased investment to accelerate innovation for climate-smart agriculture and food systems over the next five years. The UAE has pledged US$1 billion of increased investment as part of this initiative, which aims to increase and accelerate agricultural and food systems innovation in support of climate action.

The UAE also joined the Global Methane Pledge building on its position as one of the least methane intense nations in the world. Over five decades, the country has successfully reduced the volume of natural gas flared in the domestic energy sector by more than 90 percent. In turn, the UAE’s hydrocarbon industry today holds one of the world’s lowest methane intensities of 0.01 percent. The UAE will build on this foundation of ultra-low methane intensity in the energy sector to further improve its methane performance.

The UAE, represented by the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MOEI) also announced the Hydrogen Leadership Roadmap, a comprehensive national blueprint to support domestic, low-carbon industries, contribute to the country’s net-zero ambition and establish the country as a competitive exporter of hydrogen. The UAE has an outstanding experience and impressive record in climate action, which helps establishing an efficient ecosystem that comprised all the elements necessary to scale innovation in this area, including capital, research and development, technology and project implementation and operation. The UAE has invested over $17 billion in clean energy projects in six continents around the world.

The UAE focuses on accelerating progress in the development of clean, scalable and commercially viable solutions and techniques, improving the efficiency of resource management and advancing progress towards food and water security.

Today, the UAE is home to three of the largest and lowest cost solar power plants in the world, and has built the first large-scale carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) facilities in the region. As well as being the first country to deploy zero emission nuclear energy to its grid – and a pioneer in new Net Zero energies such as hydrogen.