By H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Zaabi
Climate change poses an imminent threat to the earth inhabitance, and became an issue the global community must address together to find solution for this growing challenge, which threatens the existence of life on the orb, and I am confident that a collectively solution with global partnership is not so far to reach.
I feel honored to represent UAE, a country which historically been at the forefront of implementing, groundbreaking renewable energy programs, reducing carbon emissions, and working with multilateral organizations to shape a more sustainable future for the Middle East region and world.
And also pleased to be stationed in the Islamic Republic Pakistan, a country which leadership has better understanding of the climate change, I admired the Prime Minister Imran Khan initiative of “billion tree tsunami” in a bid to combat global warming as such initiatives will definitely impact the global endeavor in this field.
The UAE under the direction of its wise leadership and being host of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has made great efforts in climate change domain, and secured a prominent position as a regional and global catalyst of environmental and climate action, as the UAE was the first to ratify the Paris Agreement and the first to launch a climate change plan that guides our mitigation and adaptation measures in the region, and considered a leader in developing renewable energy solutions and advancing their deployment worldwide, as well as a premier convener and facilitator of climate and environmental conversation.
UAE successfully proved itself as preferred platform for number of regional and international events, and while celebrating its Golden Jubilee UAE will be hosting the Expo 2020, Also through hosting leadership platforms such as Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and the World Government Summit, it mobilizes concerted efforts to ensure a better, greener, and more sustainable future.
In continuance of mobilizing its expertise for climate change globally and regionally, the UAE has formally submitted its bid to host the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2023.
His Highness Sheikh Abdulla Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of UAE stated “Our vision means that we are also supporting international action. We have committed over $ 1 billion dollars of grants and low-interest loans for renewable energy projects in some 70 countries, and billions of dollars in humanitarian relief for climate disasters. We are a major investor in international commercial renewable energy projects, and we are the proud host country of the IRENA”.
It is pertinent to mention that UAE began initial investments in the renewable space fifteen years ago and placed a bet on nascent technologies that have made sound business sense over time. Today, the UAE operates three of the largest and lowest cost solar plants in the world.
UAE is the first country in the Middle East to operate zero carbon nuclear power , Masdar has made a significant contribution to the UAE’s renewable energy targets, playing a key role in expanding the country’s renewable energy portfolio 400 percent in the last ten years. In total the UAE has invested in renewable energy ventures with a total value of around US$16.8 billion across 70 countries.
The Foreign Minister added “Climate Change impacts are already being felt and the window for action is narrowing. The UAE recognizes that every country must join the effort to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the harsher world they are creating. A combination of global partnership and domestic policy will be necessary”.
His Highness emphasized “this has been the UAE’s Own Experience at home and in international partnerships, and we believe it can by transformative for climate ambition. Our country has a long history of working with other countries and the private sector to position industry and the overall economy for growth under carbon constraints”.
Given the cultural and geographical convergence, I am of the view that the UAE and Islamic Republic of Pakistan with shared views on Climate Change have a broader horizon with vast opportunities for cooperation and coordination to benefit from successful experiences in the field of renewable energy and climate change inanities.