The UAE is keen to seize the economic opportunities presented by the energy transition…reports Asian Lite News
The UAE is keen to seize the economic opportunities presented by the energy transition, according to Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Special Envoy for Climate Change and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar).
Dr. Al Jaber made the remarks during the opening ceremony of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) and awards ceremony of the Zayed Sustainability Prize at Expo 2020 Dubai, in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
Delivering the opening address at the first major global sustainability event after COP26 (the UN Climate Conference), Dr. Al Jaber appreciated the wise leadership’s keenness to ensure the safety of UAE citizens, visitors and residents. “Thanks to the efforts and vision of the leadership, the UAE has become the most vaccinated country against COVID-19 in the world, and we have also strengthened our resilience while extending a helping hand to more than 135 countries in need.”
Speaking to a live audience that included heads of states, ministers and policymakers, Dr. Al Jaber went on to detail how the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed, laid the foundation for the country’s progressive approach to climate change and sustainability and explained that the country is well-positioned to capitalise on the opportunities created by the energy transition.
“As the UAE celebrates its Golden Jubilee, we have seen 50 years of incredible progress. Our founding father, Sheikh Zayed, invested the wealth of a nation in the health of a nation. He balanced economic development with environmental responsibility. He believed that sharing made good nations great and guided the UAE to become one of the world’s leading humanitarian donors. And, more than this, he taught the people of this nation to aim for the stars, so that one day we would explore Mars, Venus and beyond.”
Dr. Al Jaber noted the world has also been transformed for the better over the last 50 years but this has posed fundamental questions of how to keep moving forward, while turning back the clock on emissions and how to enhance global prosperity.
“Finding the answers to these questions has been the mission of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and the Zayed Sustainability Prize. A mission that builds on the UAE’s position as a pioneer in clean energy. When we began investing in the renewables space more than 15 years ago, our leadership had a theory of the future that has been proven right over time. Today, the UAE is home to the largest and lowest cost solar plants in the world.”
Dr. Al Jaber added, “Globally, we see a bright future for the renewable energy sector as at least $3 trillion will be invested in renewable energy over the next 10 years. Through Masdar, we have invested in solar and wind energy projects in 40 countries around the world. Last month, under the direction of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, three of the largest energy companies in the UAE entered into a strategic partnership to consolidate Masdar’s position and turn it into a global leader in the field of clean energy.
“Thanks to this partnership, Masdar doubled its total renewable energy capacity, and our ambition is to build on these solid foundations and reach 100 gigawatts, and then double it to 200 gigawatts. This represents a massive opportunity, and the UAE and Masdar extend an open invitation to all our partners, public and private, to join us on this ambitious journey. This growth will contribute to creating job opportunities, new sectors and skills, and opening a new door of hope for present and future generations.”
As the first country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to announce a Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, the UAE is adopting a low carbon pathway to a high growth destination and is keen to accelerate progress on this journey as hosts of COP28, according to Dr. Al Jaber.
Expanding on COP28, which is set to be held in Abu Dhabi in 2023, Dr. Al Jaber took the opportunity to thank President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea and the Asia Pacific Group for their support in confirming the UAE as hosts. He went on to provide an insight into the UAE’s approach.
“The UAE is looking forward to playing its role as host of COP28 and we take on this role with humility and a sense of great pride and responsibility. We will work closely with the COP presidencies of the UK and Egypt and build on their momentum. We will take a practical approach, that moves from pledges to action, focused on commercially viable climate solutions.