UAE first in MENA to announce net zero by 2050 strategic initiative

UAE first in MENA to announce net zero by 2050 strategic initiative

/ Renewables / Monday, 11 October 2021 11:13

The United Arab Emirates has announced the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, a national drive to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, making the Emirates the first Middle East and North Africa (MENA) nation to do so.

The initiative, announced at Expo 2020 Dubai with the attendance of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces, aims to underpin dynamic economic growth alongside positive environmental impact.

Commenting on the announcement, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president, prime minister and ruler of Dubai, said, "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. With an investment of over AED600 billion in renewable energy, our vision for a clean future is clear."

From his side, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said, "With our announcement today of our plan to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, the UAE continues our effective role in climate control issues, adding our support to international efforts to mitigate climate change with a range of effective community and economic initiatives. In achieving climate neutrality in the UAE by 2050, we aim to develop an approach that both drives sustainable economic growth and is an exemplar of working together to achieve a better future for humanity."

The announcement aligns with the Principles of the 50 - the UAE’s roadmap for accelerating national economic development to mark the country’s golden jubilee year, as the nation enters a new 50-year cycle of growth. 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 announcement took place at the conclusion of a government-wide accelerator programme initiated earlier this year. The Government Accelerator for Climate Ambition and Economic Development took a holistic approach to developing the framework for the UAE’s pathway to net zero, leveraging strategies for green economic growth and job creation.

The initiative integrated the work of ministries and private sector entities in cross-sectoral teams focused on fast-tracking effective policymaking and implementation.

The UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative aligns with the Paris Agreement, which calls on countries to prepare long-term strategies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5 C compared to pre-industrial levels.

The UAE supports green infrastructure and clean energy projects worldwide, and has invested in renewable energy ventures worth around US$16.8 billion in 70 countries with a focus on developing nations. It has also provided more than US$400 million in aid and soft loans for clean energy projects.

The UAE now enjoys the world’s lowest-cost solar power and is home to three of the largest solar facilities in the world. It is also the first country in the region to deploy nuclear power and to develop industrial-scale carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS).

Recognising that agriculture is responsible for almost one-quarter of global carbon emissions, the UAE is leading efforts to drive innovation in agritech, in particular by reducing water and energy use in farming, with the aim of supporting the country’s food security strategy by expanding the production of homegrown healthy crops and reducing reliance on food imports.

The UAE is also actively involved in international initiatives that pursue this goal. These include the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate), a multi-country commitment to increasing innovation in the agricultural sector that the nation announced together with the United States at the Leaders Summit on Climate, held virtually in April 2021 in Washington, DC, with the participation of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

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