UAE can offer low-cost, low-carbon energy as demand grows: Dr. Al Jaber

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
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Dr. Sultan Al Jaber
Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister for Industry and Advanced Technology of UAE

According to Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE’s special envoy for climate change and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, the UAE is well placed to offer low-cost, low-carbon energy as global demand returns and is expected to increase in line with economic growth.

Dr. Al Jaber remarked that “the UAE’s primary crude grade, Murban, is one of the least carbon-intensive in the world, with less than half the carbon intensity of the industry average. This creates a dual advantage for us low-cost and low-carbon. So, in a world that needs more energy with fewer emissions, the Emirate is stepping up to expand our low-carbon crude capacity.”

Dr. Al Jaber during a virtual session of the Columbia Global Energy Summit said that the increased demand for cost-effective, lower-carbon energy puts the Emirates at a competitive advantage.

Diversifying the country’s energy mix, he said, is not only the responsible thing to do, but it can also open up new economic opportunities.

“Using this approach, the UAE has grown its renewable investments from a low base 15 years ago, to a leading position in the region” Dr. Al Jaber pointed out.

The UAE also has three of the world’s largest and cheapest solar projects, as well as major renewable energy projects in 30 countries.

The country is also well placed to produce blue and green hydrogen using its current gas infrastructure.

“We are working with existing and new partners around the world to identify markets, map out value chains and develop a roadmap to create a hydrogen ecosystem to serve both the UAE and the global marketplace,” Dr. Al Jaber added.

Last month, the UAE and the US launched an Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM4Climate) in collaboration with seven other countries. Dr. Al Jaber stated that the UAE plans to increase research and development investment and accelerate innovation in sustainable agricultural practices.

“As a country in an arid part of the world, we are already leveraging new technologies and innovative approaches to enable sustainable farming in desert conditions. We believe that by doubling down on investment in 4IR [fourth industrial revolution] technologies, we can help the agricultural sector adapt to the impacts of climate change, reduce emissions, and also support growth, opportunity, and jobs in the emerging Agri-Tech sector.” Dr. Al Jaber said.

Dr. Al Jaber added that he expects positive results from the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November.

He claimed that the rest of the world recognizes that progressive climate action is an opportunity for economic growth, particularly in the wake of the post-COVID recovery.

Dr. Al Jaber stated that “what I find encouraging is that it is not only governments that get this, but the broader business community, across every industrial sector, is also on board. I expect healthy discussion and debate, but I fundamentally believe that we can accelerate progress on climate change if we avoid one-size-fits-all policies.”

“Ultimately, I think the willingness is there to take a great leap forward at Glasgow and the UAE is more than willing to play its role as a regional leader and global convener in progressive climate action,” he concluded.

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