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UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment affirms country’s commitment to carbon neutrality

The UAE will host the COP28 summit a year from now.

At this year’s summit, the UAE president Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan affirmed that the country will focus on lowering carbon emissions emanating from the oil and gas sector.

The country has also announced ambitious plans for carbon neutrality by 2050.

CNN’s Becky Anderson sat down with the UAE’s Minister of Climate Change Mariam Almheiri in Sharm el-Sheikh this week, to discuss how the country plans to maintain its commitment to reducing carbon emissions whilst remaining a key provider of oil and gas.

Key Quotes:

On the UAE’s approach to reducing carbon emissions: 

“It is all about implementation. It is really important to understand us, as the UAE, we have been on a journey now for the past three decades [towards] a just energy transition. And the UAE has oil and gas. In a way it is taking a two-pronged approach. We are ramping up our renewables. At the same time decarbonizing the oil and gas sector. Since the 1st of January, we are running on clean and renewable energy, completely decarbonizing its operations. With that, the UAE is offering one of the lowest carbon footprints barrels in the world.”

On the UAE’s roadmap to meet 2050 net zero goal: 

“The UAE is committed, is really serious about this. We announced our net zero strategic initiative being the first in the region to do so before COP26. And in the last month we have been working with the private sector, with NGOs, with the community, to put together an ambitious pathway to net zero by 2050.”

“In a few days we will be announcing interim targets, showcasing to the world that countries such as UAE [are] transitioning, as we are going to the net zero pathway, we see this as a vehicle of opportunity. So it really is a pathway for new industries, new skills. The youth are extremely excited about this.”

On the importance of clean energy initiatives with other countries: 

“It is so important. Next year at COP28, we will have the first global stock take, which is in a way, a report card telling the world where we’re at. Basically, the grades are not going to look good. And that’s why these projects are key, because it’s all about partnership. It’s about knowledge exchange, it’s about technology transfer and this is what we need, we need to scale up these solutions, the solutions that are sustainable, solutions that are scalable, that are bankable.”

“We’ve invested in the last 20-30 years about $40 billion outside of the UAE in over 70 countries, many of them being developing countries and small island state countries, and really supporting them in their transition to using renewable energy sources.”

Credit : CNN