UAE Strategy for Climate Neutrality 2050: Innovation and Collaboration for Sustainable Future

2023-11-09 18:32:01

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment at the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum today hosted the second council within the “COP28 Change Makers Council” initiative, which consists of eight councils scheduled to be held before the start of the COP28 Conference of the Parties at the end of this month in the Emirates, with the participation of a number of climate leaders, experts and government representatives to discuss ways to Strengthening the efforts of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates in their journey to achieve their goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

The Council’s convening comes in the wake of the launch of the “UAE Strategy for Climate Neutrality by 2050” yesterday, as the strategy provides a concrete roadmap at the state level to achieve emissions reduction goals, and enhance the UAE’s ambition to be one of the countries most diligent in addressing climate change and reducing its effects.

The Council was chaired by Her Excellency Maryam bint Mohammed Al Muhairi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and Her Excellency Awaida Murshid Al Marar, Chairman of the Department of Energy in Abu Dhabi.

The council was attended by His Excellency Mohammed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Managing Director and CEO of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, and a number of leaders from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, including His Excellency Mohammed Saeed Al Nuaimi, Acting Undersecretary of the Ministry, His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Salman Al Hammadi, Assistant Undersecretary for the Biodiversity and Aquatic Life Sector, and His Excellency Dr. Nawal Al Hosani, Assistant Undersecretary for the Green Development and Climate Change Sector, and Her Excellency Sheikha Ahmed Al Ali, Acting Assistant Undersecretary for the Regions Sector.

During the Council, His Excellency Al Muhairi stressed that the UAE Strategy for Climate Neutrality 2050 is one of the most important stations in the UAE’s climate action journey, and strengthens the state’s role to contribute more to confronting global climate changes and limiting global warming by 2030, thus fulfilling the state’s climate obligations in accordance with Paris climate agreement.

Her Excellency Al Muhairi reviewed the strategy and its most important pillars and objectives, which include targeting 6 main sectors: energy, waste, construction, transportation, agriculture, and industry, in addition to creating more than 25 government programs that include a number of initiatives and projects to reduce emissions and remove carbon. Her Excellency stated that the strategy will contribute to sustainable economic development by creating more than 200,000 job opportunities and increasing gross domestic income by 3%, while enhancing exports.

Her Excellency also explained that the strategy was the result of joint work at the federal and local levels, and in consultation with the private sector and sectors of society, where more than 100 meetings were held and more than 800 useful comments and opinions were received to develop the strategy. Al Muhairi stressed that cooperation should be the most important approach to implementing the strategy at the level of all emirates of the country and various sectors.

The attendees welcomed the new strategy and discussed how all sectors and industries can adopt this sustainable agenda to drive economic growth and enhance climate action in the country. Climate leaders spoke about what has been accomplished so far in the UAE’s march towards climate neutrality, including the UAE’s climate action and leadership, in addition to investments in sustainability projects at the local and international levels.

Industry and the business sector are at the forefront of the country’s efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change and its repercussions and create a more sustainable future. Through investments in innovation, technological advancement, and teamwork, solutions are found. The Conference of the Parties (COP28), hosted by the UAE in 21 days at the end of this month, will explore current and future innovative climate actions and outcomes in the UAE.

The discussions of the second council in Abu Dhabi focused on accelerator programs to achieve climate neutrality and the obstacles that prevent this. The attendees discussed answers to questions related to partnerships between the government and the private sector, local initiatives being implemented in the field of energy transition and how to enhance them, what are the legislative, political or innovative barriers that limit full progress towards a more sustainable future, and what are the forms of cooperation today among the attending group. Which could contribute to achieving climate neutrality by 2050, before the Conference of the Parties (COP28) and in the future.

Her Excellency Al Muhairi concluded her speech by saying: “This Council is another opportunity to move forward in achieving climate neutrality for the UAE. The ideas and discussions I heard today give me great hope that we are on the right path towards a climate neutral and emissions-free future. With the COP28 conference approaching, “The time to act is now. We must all cooperate and unify efforts and visions to come up with ambitious ideas that contribute to finding clear and implementable solutions to achieve climate neutrality.”

For his part, His Excellency Engineer Awaida Murshid Al Marar, Chairman of the Department of Energy in Abu Dhabi, praised the (COP28 Change Makers Council) initiative, which aims to involve various segments of local society in promoting dialogue on issues related to climate change and sustainable development.

His Excellency said during the session: Thanks to the vision of the wise leadership, the UAE has become a global model for making positive change, adding that we are required to make the change that achieves common goals for a better future for future generations.

His Excellency referred to the approach of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God have mercy on him, in consolidating the concept of sustainability and preserving the environment and natural resources, as His Highness’s efforts led to the expansion of the forest area and today it covers vast areas of the country.

Regarding the country’s efforts to enhance climate action, His Excellency explained: With the launch of the UAE’s strategic initiative for climate neutrality 2050, it has become the first country in the Middle East and North Africa to announce its goal to achieve climate neutrality. The initiative is in line with the ten principles for the next 50, as it will provide new opportunities for sustainable development and economic progress. The value of investments in clean and renewable energy will reach 600 billion dirhams over the next three decades.

The head of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy concluded the session with a quote from Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, in which he praised the Strategic Initiative for Climate Neutrality 2050, describing it as a beacon of hope.

During his speech, His Excellency Mohammed Al Hammadi stressed the importance of the Barakah nuclear energy plants and their contribution to increasing the percentage of clean energy in the country’s energy mix, which contributes to achieving climate neutrality by 2050. He stressed that once the Barakah plants are fully operational, they will contribute to reducing 22 million tons of emissions. Annually, this is equivalent to removing 4.8 million cars from the roads. At the same time, he pointed out that it is important for all members of society to know their carbon footprint through their consumption of energy, water and food, because this is a step on the right path to achieving all our climate and environmental goals in the Emirates.

Interactive discussions

During the council, the attendees, including representatives of the private sector, scientific and academic bodies, and community representatives, reviewed the most important experiences and solutions that have been applied on the ground in order to advance the UAE’s efforts towards achieving climate neutrality by 2050. Many visions, observations, and ideas that support this trend were also reviewed, most notably The importance of employing regulations and laws to enhance its role in supporting sustainable projects and ambitious climate and environmental ideas and facilitating their operation.

The discussions also reviewed the importance of scientific and academic research and its financing to contribute to the efforts of the government and the private sector in applying some technologies and evaluating them scientifically, especially with regard to removing and storing carbon and reducing the carbon footprint of many equipment and facilities.

The discussions stressed the importance of having a greater will from the private sector and employing its future plans and setting greater goals to reduce the carbon footprint of its business, with the need to make room for small and medium-sized companies in this field, with the need to train workers and technicians on new sustainable systems, as it was also pointed out. It is necessary to pay attention to training young Emiratis in order to keep pace with the labor market and its requirements as the UAE transitions to achieving climate neutrality across various vital sectors.

The meeting touched on the importance of raising society’s awareness in order to modify its behavior, rationalize consumption, and accept the new systems that will be implemented and will affect its daily life, such as modern transportation systems, electricity and water consumption, stopping food waste, and other behaviors.

About the COP28 Change Makers Council series in the UAE

The COP28 Changemakers Council initiative – organized with support from the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation – is a series of high-level, action-oriented discussion councils, to be held across the seven emirates, focused on achieving the UAE’s ambitious ambitions to develop climate solutions. Innovative.

The Council will convene in each emirate in the coming weeks, as part of the efforts of the COP28 Presidency Team to ensure everyone’s participation in the crucial discussions of the conference, which will begin in just 21 days.

These sessions, which host a group of international and local experts from various fields, will provide an opportunity to discuss challenges related to climate change and participate in providing clear and implementable solutions.

The COP28 Change Makers Council aims to bring together government leaders, climate experts, local innovators and youth, in a way that creates new paths for them to discuss climate and sustainability issues, opportunities, challenges and partnerships related to achieving climate neutrality, while highlighting the role each of them plays in supporting local climate goals. Before, during and after COP28

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