The United Arab Emirates gets appraised and skepticism after disclosing first net-zero pledge in the region
Points to be noted:
- Despite the lack of specifics in the declaration, the UAE is the first Gulf state to commit to a national effort to reduce carbon emissions.
- The UAE’s 2050 goal is in line with the majority of major global climate commitment commitments, and it comes ahead of the UN’s COP26 climate meetings in November.
- Despite efforts to expand and significantly improve its environmental credentials, oil and gas exports stay the backbone of the UAE economy, accounting for 30% of the national GDP.
THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES — DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — As part of a big but detail-light climate initiative, the United Arab Emirates will invest more than $160 billion to become the first Gulf state to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“As we pivot our economy and nation to net zero, we are committed to seizing the opportunity to solidify our leadership on climate change within our region,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai.
Despite the lack of specifics in the declaration, the UAE is the first Gulf state to commit to a national effort to reduce carbon emissions. The UAE’s 2050 goal is in line with the majority of major global climate commitment commitments, and it comes ahead of the UN’s COP26 climate talks in November.
“A big stride forward, a big challenge,” said Robin Mills, CEO of Qamar Energy, an energy consultancy located in the United Arab Emirates. “Will deal with this, also some skepticism, just after COP26. But could be more executable than some have predicted,” he added.
The UAE proposal is in line with the Paris Agreement, which requires countries to develop long-term plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions and keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels.
The decision is anticipated to strengthen the UAE’s position as a global climate leader in a region still dominated by fossil fuels. In addition, the administration has been advocating for Abu Dhabi to host the COP28 global climate meeting in November 2023.
Despite efforts to diversify and improve its environmental credentials, oil and gas exports remain the backbone of the UAE economy, accounting for 30% of the national GDP.
Despite investing over $40 billion in renewable energy industries in recent years in preparation for the energy revolution, the country has one of the highest per capita carbon emission rates.
Al-Hosany told CNBC, “We cannot, however, be happy to rest on our laurels.” “It’s time to elevate the stakes. While we strive to achieve net zero emissions by the middle of the century in the UAE, we must also constantly seek unique, imaginative, and collaborative ways to make clean energy more accessible, particularly to climate-vulnerable groups, as a responsible members of the international community.”
“Today’s announcement of the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative exemplifies our wise leadership’s vision and foresight, and continues the UAE’s tradition of contributing progressive solutions to global problems,” said Sultan Al Jaber, who also serves as CEO of ADNOC apart from just being special envoy for climate change and minister of industry and advanced technology