UAE, UK Go Eco Way

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UAE and UK discussed the critical role of strong UK-UAE bilateral ties in accelerating progress on emissions reductions and sustainable industrial development, areas which both closely align with the UAE Vision 2021 and UAE Centennial 2071.

UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, met with COP26 President and UK Special Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma.

The two officials discussed the critical role of strong UK-UAE bilateral ties in accelerating progress on emissions reductions and sustainable industrial development, areas which both closely align with the UAE Vision 2021 and UAE Centennial 2071.

Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber

In his conversation with Sharma, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said, “For more than 49 years, the UAE has prioritized responsible stewardship of natural resources, and my new appointment as Special Envoy for Climate Change is a testament of the UAE’s continued commitment to further progress on this front both domestically and globally.”

“On the issue of climate change, collective action is essential, and I am both impressed and motivated by the UK’s ambitious emissions targets. I look forward to working closely with Secretary Sharma to identify new potential areas of UK-UAE climate cooperation and aligning our national ambitions as we approach the upcoming COP26 in Glasgow.”

Dr. Sultan, in his capacity as Chairman of the UAE’s National COVID-19 Crisis Recovery, Management & Governance Committee, also shared learnings from the UAE’s successful management of the COVID-19 pandemic and highlighted the UAE’s keen interest in leveraging its renewable and carbon capture and storage technology to support its post-COVID economic recovery.

Alok Sharma

Secretary Sharma shared words of praise for the UAE’s investments in renewable energy both domestically and abroad, and expressed appreciation for Dr. Sultan’s proposal to form a joint working group aimed at advancing opportunities for UK and UAE joint coordination on climate action, the post-COVID economic recovery, and sustainable industrial development.

Scientific advances

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said scientific advances can be used to battle climate change, a challenge which he described as being “far worse, far more destructive than coronavirus”.

Johnson made the remarks while speaking at the virtual Climate Ambition Summit co-convened by the United Nations, Britain, and France, in partnership with Chile and Italy.

The Prime Minister hailed a new era of “scientific optimism” as the year comes to the end.

“We are coming to the end of an extraordinary year with, I think, a sudden surge of scientific optimism, because of after barely 12 months of the pandemic we are seeing the vaccine going into the arms of the elderly and the vulnerable.”

“Together we can use scientific advances to protect our entire planet — our biosphere — against a challenge far worse, far more destructive even than the coronavirus,” he said.

“And by the promethean power of our invention, we can begin to defend the Earth against the disaster of global warming.”

“At the same time, we can create thousands of jobs, millions of jobs as we collectively recover from the pandemic,” he added.

Earlier this month, Johnson announced that Britain will be committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 68 percent by the end of the decade compared to 1990 levels.

The virtual Climate Ambition Summit, held exactly five years since the adoption of the landmark Paris Agreement, aims to make new commitments to tackling climate change and delivering on the Paris Agreement ahead of the next UN Climate Conference, COP26, which will be hosted by Britain in November next year in Glasgow.

The summit brought together UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and more than 70 world leaders from such countries as Britain, France, Germany, China and Canada, as well as businesses and civil society.

Ahead of the COP26 in Glasgow, China will host the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) in Kunming, the provincial capital of Yunnan in southwest China, in May, 2021.

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