Shaikh Mohammad and Wen Jiabao sign an agreement in Dubai on Monday. Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, are present. Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: The UAE and China on Tuesday signed a strategic partnership deal that will enhance bilateral ties.

The agreement was signed by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Wen Jiabao, the Chinese Prime Minister.

The pact was part of several agreements signed by the two countries which, Shaikh Mohammad said, reflect "the historic friendly relationship that binds the leaderships and peoples of the UAE and China".

Earlier, the UAE reached agreements with China aimed at strengthening its ‘green' agenda.

On Sunday, the UAE announced a government policy to develop renewable energy that will see it become a global centre for development, import and export of green energy solutions. To realise this, the UAE has signed a series of agreements with China that will help UAE entities secure cost-effective green energy technologies and solutions.

Collaboration avenues

General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, along with Wen, witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement and a memorandum of understanding on energy between the UAE and China at the Emirates Palace.

Potential avenues for collaboration include joint investment in areas such as sustainable technology solutions and large/utility-scale renewable energy projects, as well as exchanging expertise and sharing experience with policies and regulatory matters.

An agreement was also signed between the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and the China National Petroleum Corporation aimed at developing upstream projects.

The Chinese company will conduct technical and economic studies and will forward the results to Adnoc.

Green energy targets require around $1 trillion (Dh3.67 trillion) invested in a mix of energy sources — including wind, solar, biomass and fossil fuel sources — over the next 18 years, experts said yesterday at the World Future Energy Summit.

Maria van der Hoeven, executive director at the International Energy Agency, said this translated into an annual investment of about $58 billion globally — an amount which seems like a lot at first glance.

Solar energy is so abundant in the Gulf region that regional governments and innovators are in a unique position to develop workable and cost-effective technologies for deploying it, Dr Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, Nobel laureate and chairperson of the UN International Panel for Climate Change, told Gulf News.

Zayed prize winners

Dr Ashok Gadgil, Carbon Disclosure Project, and Schneider Electric yesterday won the 2012 Zayed Future Energy Prize for their work in carbon reduction advocacy.

General Shaikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, yesterday presented the awards to the three winners and two runners-up at the ceremony held at the Emirates Palace.

Shaikh Mohammad congratulated the winners and hoped that they would continue to work towards developing innovative clean energy solutions.

In the SME & NGO category, Carbon Disclosure Project was awarded $1.5 million, while first runner-up Orb Energy of India won $1 million and Environmental Defence Fund of the US took away $500,000 as the second runner-up.

Dr Ashok Gadgil, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, received $500,000.

Schneider Electric received a recognition award in the Large Corporations category.

Dr Gadgil received the prize for his sustainable humanitarian work in Darfur, providing energy efficient cooking stoves known as Berkeley-Darfur stoves, cutting the need for firewood by 55 per cent.

Nominations for the Zayed Prize were launched in May 2011 through a globally targeted campaign.