The United Arab Emirates has launched its latest strategic move to become a pioneer among the oil-producing countries and in the Middle East and North Africa to make a pledge of achieving net zero emissions by 2050. It also plans to invest over AED 600 billion (USD 163 billion) in clean and renewable energy to attain climate neutrality.
The country’s leaders announced during the first week of Expo 2020 Dubai its ‘UAE Net Zero 2050’ national initiative following the conclusion of its Government Accelerator for Climate Ambition and Economic Development programme.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, commented during the launch, “We are committed to seizing 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.”
Home to three of the largest solar facilities in the world, the UAE noted its international investment in renewable energy has reached USD 16.8 billion spread in 70 countries, as well as more than USD 400 million of aid and soft loans for clean energy projects.
As part of developing the framework for a net zero emission path, the UAE said it is leveraging strategies focused on green economic growth and job creation.
Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Special Envoy for Climate Change explained how the UAE intends to achieve its goals citing the importance of employing innovation and cutting-edge technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“We will call on the contribution of our academic institutions, large-scale industrial players, and innovative SMEs to create solutions that both drive down emissions while creating jobs and sustainable economic growth. We will also partner with our friends and allies around the world to share knowledge, expertise, and practical lessons so that our experience contributes to global progress and the UAE can benefit from best-in-class approaches from around the world,” Al Jaber said.
The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment has been tasked to lead and coordinate the efforts to implement the initiative which will require collaboration with concerned sectors, as well as cooperation with members of the civil society, international organizations, and governments of other countries.