UAE shines in the war against climate change - GulfToday

UAE shines in the war against climate change


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His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, once said, ‘Countries share one fate and one future, and, therefore, cannot work alone to protect the planet.’

The words of Sheikh Mohammed could not be truer.

The world climate activists are crying hoarse to save the planet from extinction, over the need to reduce carbon footprint. But some nations simply don’t hew to this urgent call, which is all the more important on World Environment Day, which falls on June 5.

The world could keep global warming at, or just a shade below, 2 degrees Celsius, but only if countries not only fulfil their specific pledged national targets for curbing carbon emissions by 2030, but also come through on more distant promises of reaching net zero carbon emissions by mid-century, according to a recent study.

This 2 degree warmer world still represents what scientists characterise as a profoundly disrupted climate with fiercer storms, higher seas, animal and plant extinctions, disappearing coral, melting ice and more people dying from heat, smog and infectious disease. It’s not the goal that world leaders say they really want: 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times. The world will blast past that more prominent and promoted goal unless dramatic new emission cuts are promised and achieved this decade and probably within the next three years, the study adds.

There are some hurdles to making eco-friendly moves. Conflict is one of them. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the Ukraine war is diverting attention away from climate change, while at the same time showcasing the world’s “suicidal” dependence on fossil fuels.
However, the UAE stands out in its efforts to curb the carbon footprint. Several companies are doing their bit to conserve the environment.

A recent report says Masdar, one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, is continuing to strengthen its support for global climate action, with the capacity of its clean energy project portfolio rising 40 per cent in 2021.

The electricity generation capacity of all projects Masdar has invested in – either installed or under development – increased from 10.7 gigawatts (GW) to over 15 GW in 2021, according to the company’s 2021 Annual Sustainability Report. The company’s operating clean energy portfolio displaced almost 7.5 million tonnes of CO2 last year, a 38 per cent rise on 2020.

During 2021, Masdar entered new markets including Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Greece, Iraq and Poland, extending its renewable energy investments to over 40 countries with a combined value of more than US$20 billion. Last December, it was announced that three of the UAE’s energy giants – ADNOC, TAQA and Mubadala – will partner under the Masdar brand to form a clean energy powerhouse with a combined current, committed, and exclusive capacity of over 23 GW of renewable energy, with the expectation of reaching over 100 GW.

In 2021 Mubadala committed $1.5 million annually for three years to support the MBZ Fund conservation efforts for the protection of endangered flora and fauna in Africa and Asia.

The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development has highlighted the UAE’s leading role in preserving the environment and addressing the negative impact of climate change by launching various initiatives locally. Through the Green Development Strategy, the country aims to promote long-term growth by focusing on the green economy and maintaining a sustainable environment, and preserve natural resources for future generations.

2023 will be a historic year for the UAE. The international community has agreed to host the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in the UAE next year. This goes to prove the importance of the Emirates’ investments in quality clean energy projects, its quest for effective solutions to tackle climate challenges and engagement in innovative climate action that helps stimulate the economy and build a more sustainable future.

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