UAE Becomes Gulf Trailblazer in Committing to Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050
Previously, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was the first country in the Persian Gulf region to sign the Paris Climate Agreement and it prides itself in investing in large domestic and international renewable energy projects.
has become the first country in the Persian Gulf to commit to net zero carbon emissions
"The major economic opportunities offered by the path to net zero directly support a vision to develop the Emirates into the most dynamic economy in the world," the UAE government said in a statement, as it announced the “UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative."
The landmark programme was unveiled at Expo 2020 in Dubai on Thursday, in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
“We are committed to seize the opportunity to cement our leadership on climate change within our region and take this key economic opportunity to drive development, growth and new jobs as we pivot our economy and nation to net zero,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, prime minister of the UAE.
Dubai's ruler vowed the UAE would invest 600 billion dirhams ($163 billion) in renewable energy as part of the commitment.
This ambitious target would bring OPEC-member UAE, a major oil and gas producer, into alignment with the Paris Climate Agreement, which calls on countries to set in place long-term strategies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
and limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.
The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment will be tasked with leading and coordinating efforts to execute the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative.
Earlier in the year, the UAE offered the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) the chance to host
the Conference of Parties (COP28) session in Abu Dhabi in 2023.
"As COP28 host, the UAE would leverage its experience as a regional and global convener to mobilise all actors in achieving the Paris Agreement and reinforcing the compelling investment case for raising ambitions," Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said as quoted by Emirates News Agency (WAM).
The COP28 session will focus on the economic case for inclusive climate action. The UAE has previously demonstrated its climate action commitment by being the first country in the region to sign the Paris Agreement, while it is also the permanent host of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
"The climate challenge is daunting, but it is also matched by enormous opportunity to drive economic growth and job creation," Shiekh Abdullah said.
The UAE, which is heavily involved in the hydrocarbon industry, prides itself on investing in energy diversification domestically and globally. Approximately $17 billion have been funnelled into domestic and international renewable energy projects across six continents.
However, the country which produced an average of four million barrels per day of petroleum and other liquids in 2019, according to the US Energy Information Administration, will continue producing oil and gas "if it's still needed," Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, minister of climate change and environment was cited by CNN as saying..
"We can't just switch off the tap. This is a transition," emphasised the minister.