The UAE Regional Dialogue for Climate Action which concluded last day saw participating leaders pledge to hasten progress on actions to tackle the climatic issues and affirmed their commitment to ensuring the success of the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The event offered a platform for participating countries to collaborate in their responses to climate change and increase global climate ambition, as part of which 11 nations, including the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Iraq, Sudan and the US have signed a group statement in order to take climate action.
“We will work together to ensure the success of the Paris Agreement and will cooperate with our global partners to strengthen climate ambition. We are committed to reducing emissions by 2030 and working collectively to help the region adapt to the serious impacts of climate change, to collaborating on mobilizing investment in a new energy economy,” the group statement said.
The Abu Dhabi event gave the MENA region the opportunity to discuss ways of initiating a new low carbon development path and improving alliance with the global community to transform the climate challenge into economic opportunity.
“We are all here because we all believe that accelerating climate action is both necessary and a huge opportunity. In fact, this principle has driven the UAE’s expansion in cleantech and sustainable development for the last 15 years. We have discovered that these investments simply make good business sense. This view is backed up by market trends and hard facts. Last year, for instance, set a record for newly installed renewable energy capacity at 260GW. And this was achieved despite the economic headwinds of the COVID-19.”
The event is held ahead of US President Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate, taking place later this month and the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).
The Dialogue drew the participation of high-level dignitaries such as COP26 president-designate Alok Sharma, US special envoy for climate John Kerry, as well as representatives from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and it focused on themes including stepping up the deployment of renewable energy, exploring the potential of new zero-carbon energy sources, maximizing the impact of mitigation technologies and reducing the carbon emission intensity of hydrocarbon fuels.
Further, the event focused on the need to accelerate the efforts to reduce the impacts of hastening climate change, as well as on trends that are of particular concern to the region, including food and water security, combating desertification, and environmental conservation.
“We all need to act with urgency to address climate change. There are huge investment opportunities in the transition to renewable energy, to grow our economies, create jobs and reduce the risk of climate disaster. Ahead of COP26, I urge countries to follow this commitment with net-zero targets and furthering ambition in this crucial decade to 2030,” said COP26’s Alok Sharma.
The UAE was the first country in the region to sign the Paris Agreement. Its nationally determined contribution (NDC) also makes it a frontrunner in the region to commit to an economy-wide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
The UAE’s second NDC includes an emissions reduction of 23.5 percent compared to business as usual for the year 2030. The enhanced target is expected to translate into an absolute emissions reduction of about 70 million tonnes.