UAE Becomes First MENA Country To Commit To Net Zero By 2050

UAE Becomes First MENA Country To Commit To Net Zero By 2050
In 2015, the world came together at the Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris and made a historical agreement to limit global warming to under 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels, by 2050. To achieve this ambitious target, global carbon emissions must be halved by the year 2030. But in order to achieve this, the countries that are signatory to the Paris Agreement have to take immediate and radical steps to reduce their carbon emissions, and make progress towards Net Zero by the year 2050.

Unfortunately, the world is still a long way from making real progress towards this goal and most countries are still lagging behind in their Nationally Determined Contributions.

However, there are some countries which are way ahead of all the rest and making huge progress. The UAE is one such country, which is leading the world in the march towards Net Zero and is truly setting gold standards for the promotion of renewable energy, a green and blue economy, and sustainable development across the globe.

In UAE, the Net Zero 2050 strategic initiative is a national drive to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. In achieving this target, the UAE will become the first Middle East and North Africa (MENA) nation to do so.

The drive to Net Zero aligns with the UAE’s roadmap for accelerating national economic development to mark the country’s golden jubilee year. The initiatives, opportunities and development projects being undertaken by the UAE directly support a vision of its leaders to develop it into the most dynamic economy in the world.

Since its inception in 1971, the UAE has supported the global climate agenda. Despite being an oil exporter, UAE is already a regional leader in the energy and sustainability sectors, and has grown and diversified its economy and contributed practical solutions to emission control, sustainable green economy and clean energy generation.

UAE started financing clean energy projects more than 15 years ago, and has invested over $40 billion in the energy sector to date. According to official data, current investments and initiatives are going to enhance the production capacity of clean energy, including solar and nuclear, reaching an impressive 14 GW by 2030, up from about 2.4 GW in 2020.

According to Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and President-Designate for COP28, UAE has invested more than $16.8 billion in clean energy projects in 70 countries including 40 developing nations, and has also provided more than $400 million in aid and soft loans for clean energy projects. UAE also announced the UAE-US Partnership to Accelerate the Transition to Clean Energy (PACE).

The combined projects, investments and other support of UAE will deploy 100 gigawatts of clean energy globally. This truly makes UAE one of the leading countries in the mission of Net Zero and the fight to save Planet Earth.

This year UAE is hosting the COP 28 in Dubai which is an extremely important event as for the first time after the COP 21 in Paris, the world would take stock of its progress on the Paris Agreement. This conference will not only provide a comprehensive assessment of the global progress but also align efforts on climate action including measures that need to be taken to bridge the gaps in the progress.

“Together, we will prioritize efforts to accelerate emissions reductions through a pragmatic energy transition, reform land use, and transform food systems,” claims Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber.

UAE has also pledged to mobilize solutions for vulnerable countries and help them accelerate carbon reduction, low emissions and green sustainable development. This is in accordance with article six of the Paris Agreement, namely Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcomes (ITMOs).

In this endeavor, ‘Blue Carbon’ is another shining example of collaborative climate action in UAE. Formed under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, ‘Blue Carbon’ is working closely with the UAE government and making its mark for the drive towards carbon reduction and Net Zero. Blue Carbon is making investments and lending its support to many countries in the region to accelerate global transition to a decarbonized economy.

With an impressive experience in compiling GHG inventories, NDCs and Carbon Abatement strategies since 2009, Blue Carbon acts as an important investment vehicle that identifies gaps, realizes opportunities and develops net-zero strategies to build climate resilient economies.

Blue Carbon is investing in Green and Blue carbon sequestering projects across the globe, with the aim of finding nature based sustainable solutions and emerging technological strategies for the drive towards carbon emission reduction. It has signed important bilateral MoUs with Tanzania and Zambia in the AFOLU sector to help governments design and implement carbon abatement strategies.

In Tanzania, Blue Carbon is investing in projects for the conservation and regeneration of up to eight million hectares of forests including 56,000 hectares of mangrove and terrestrial plants. It would be the first major step in accordance with the National Carbon Trading Regulations of October 2022 and the Guidelines on Management and Control of Carbon Trading in Tanzania.

In Zambia, Blue Carbon will invest to create sustainable forest management practices as forest restoration and conservation for over eight million hectares of forest land.

These projects will not only play a phenomenal role in carbon sequestering and storing from the atmosphere into land and sea but also help boost the economy of Tanzania and Zambia by enhancing their share in the carbon trading market.

Through carbon sequestering projects and other green initiatives, the Emirates is indeed demonstrating practical and sustainable solutions for moving towards a green sustainable economy and also protecting the environment, natural habitats, land, oceans and the diverse ecology of the planet.

UAE is investing today for our shared tomorrow. “We aim to develop an approach that both drives sustainable economic growth and is an example of working together to achieve a better future for humanity,” says Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Prime Minister of the UAE.