UAE to cut 25% carbon emission by 2030; Reaffirms Paris Agreement pledge

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, has affirmed the UAE’s promise to reduce its carbon emissions by a quarter by 2030.

The UAE has submitted its updated national pledge to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change as it extends its commitments for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.

“Climate change is the most prominent battle for mankind over the coming decades, to preserve a healthy planet for generations to come,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted.

The UAE was among almost 200 countries that signed the Paris Agreement in 2016, under which 196 nations committed to keeping global warming at less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit temperature rises to 1.5°C.

The impact of COVID-19 has aided in lowering the greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel demand which has turned 2020 an unexpectedly good year for attaining climate goals.

The UN and the Global Carbon Project stated that planet-warming carbon pollution was set to fall 7 percent this year which is the highest single-year drop in history.

Since the Paris agreement, the UAE has led the region in climate change policy initially committing to meet nearly 24 percent of its energy requirements from clean sources by 2021 and later increasing the target to 50 percent by 2050.

This month, the UAE Cabinet has approved a set of environmental commitments related to clean energy and carbon emissions. The country has also pledged to expand its solar power capacity in addition to its 1.2 gigawatt Noor Abu Dhabi, the largest single-site solar power plant in the world.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the state-owned oil company of UAE targets to widen its carbon capture, use and storage capacity to handle up to 5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030, up from 800,000 tonnes now. It will also set up a hydrogen ecosystem to meet the growing global demand for lighter and cleaner gas.

The UAE is also working on the Arab world’s first commercial nuclear power plant, Barakah nuclear plant, in Abu Dhabi’s Al Dhafra region, which when fully connected will deliver clean and reliable electricity for decades. The plant will meet a quarter of the country’s electricity need and eliminate up to 21 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year, which is equal to taking 3.2 million cars off the roads each year.