Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates-The United Arab Emirates has begun bidding for the landmark United Nations Climate Change Conference, with a view to standing out in a region still dominated by fossil fuels and becoming a global climate leader.
The UAE is one of the world’s largest crude oil producers and is lobbying to host the Council of Parties (COP28) Global Climate Summit in Abu Dhabi in November 2023. The event is held once a year to bring together global leaders to review climate policy.
UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, said in a statement: “The climate challenge is daunting, but it is also accompanied by huge opportunities for economic growth and job creation. .”
“As the host of COP28, the UAE will use its experience as a regional and global convener to mobilize all participants to realize the Paris Agreement and strengthen compelling investment cases to increase ambition,” he added.
The UAE plans to increase its oil production capacity to more than 5 million barrels per day by 2030, and is building a coal-fired power plant. Nevertheless, according to a 19-page official document reviewed by CNBC, its efforts to host COP28 are aimed at intensifying efforts to make climate action the backbone of its domestic and foreign policies and national economic strategy.
Workers walk past a section of solar panels in the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai on March 20, 2017.
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The UAE has provided more than $1 billion in grants and low-interest loans to 70 countries for renewable energy innovation. It plans to use this meeting to focus on the economic benefits of accelerating climate action-a key consideration for countries to escape from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The UK will host the COP26 summit in Glasgow, Scotland in November, which is the most important since the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015. Under the UN regional rotation system, an unidentified African country plans to hold COP27 next year.
Hosting COP28 will be an achievement in the field of climate in the Middle East-the hottest, driest and most water-scarce region in the world. By 2030, the temperature is expected to rise to more than twice the global average.
The UAE’s push is also to strengthen regional and global climate diplomacy, which has been intensified by the change of US government and the coronavirus pandemic.
John Kerry, the Special Envoy of the President for Climate Change, participated in a regional dialogue focused on climate change hosted by the UAE in April. UAE Climate Envoy Sultan Al Jaber is now working with the United States to coordinate efforts to take action on key climate issues including decarbonization.
The UAE also hosted the preparatory meetings for the climate summit of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in 2014 and 2019, and hosted the annual sustainability summit with a large number of participants, the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week .
Hana Al Hashimi, spokesperson for the Office of the UAE Special Envoy, said: “By hosting COP28 in the UAE, we hope to use our experience and capabilities to support and improve global climate goals while maximizing regional and global economic benefits.” Climate.
The UAE is the first country in the region to sign and ratify the Paris Agreement and the first country in the region to commit to reducing emissions as part of its nationally determined contribution within the agreement. It is also home to the world’s largest single-site solar facility, the region’s first green hydrogen power plant, a large-scale carbon capture project, the International Renewable Energy Agency headquartered in Abu Dhabi, and the renewable energy company Masdar.
Masdar’s chief executive, Jameel Al Ramahi, told CNBC on Tuesday: “In fact, our country’s prosperity depends on the blessings of the fossil fuel economy.” “Although we are grateful for the blessings and blessings we have We create wealth through fossil fuels, but we are also committed to the future,” he said.
“As IRENA’s vision for the future energy system is rapidly becoming the mainstream way to limit the temperature to 1.5 degrees, the holding of the COP will further strengthen the UAE’s role in the global energy transition,” Francisco Francisco, Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency La Camera told CNBC.