Saeed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA
Saeed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: Dubai is on track to diversify its sources of energy production, according to Saeed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

“We are working on the implementation of major projects to diversify the sources of energy production,” said Al Tayer during the World Government Summit.

“In Dubai, we have a clear roadmap for the energy sector in accordance with the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the carbon neutrality strategy of Dubai 2050 to provide 100 per cent of the energy production capacity from clean energy sources,” he added.

Last October, UAE announced a strategic initiative to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, thus becoming the first country in the Middle East and North Africa region to launch such a plan in climate action. The country has been chosen to host COP 28 in 2023.

“The first (objective) is to produce more clean energy from solar energy; the second is to separate the desalination process from the production of electricity,” said Al Tayer. “The desalination of water will be done using reverse osmosis and solar energy, where we aim to produce 100 per cent of desalinated water by 2030 using a mixture of clean energy sources and waste heat.”

The DEWA head said the company, which is in the process of listing itself, will also look to redefine the role of service institutions by adopting disruptive techniques such as artificial intelligence, drones, blockchain and IoT (Internet of Things).

Inclusivity is key

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said it is necessary to have “inclusion” and “equality” in the fight against COVID-19, poverty and the climate crisis.

Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai, Guterres emphasized the importance of government investment in areas such as skills training and job creation. “People are competing in a rapidly changing global economy where yesterday’s skills don’t always match today’s job markets”

The former Portuguese politician said it is important to have ‘universal digital connectivity’ so that all countries can benefit from technological progress and expanded social protection.

“As governments support the people inside their borders, they also need to help reform a morally bankrupt global financial system that prevents developing countries from doing the same,” said Guterres. “They need urgent debt relief and restructuring - we need to reform the international financial architecture, examine the role of credit rating agencies and boost the resources of multilateral development banks”

The UN chief also said the current economic metrics of growth need to have more elements. “We need new metrics that go beyond gross domestic product (GDP), (and) improve steps to measure countries’ vulnerabilities to climate and environmental risks,” said Guterres.

“We need to reinvest some of the massive pockets of global wealth into the people and countries that need it most,” he added.

Guterres also urged governments to reduce their reliance on crude oil. “Last year, global energy related emissions surged to their highest level in history - our planet has had enough; our addiction to fossil fuels is killing us.”

IMF report

Temperatures in the Middle East and Central Asia have risen 1.5 degrees Celsius since the 1990s, twice the global average, according to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) report released on Wednesday.

A temperature increase of 1 degree Celsius in five of the hottest countries (Bahrain, Djibouti, Mauritania, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates) results in an immediate decline in per capita economic growth of around 2 percentage points, said the report.

Countries with stronger institutions and climate-resilient infrastructure have generally experienced lower human losses. The same is true for those with higher levels of socioeconomic and human development, such as the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, said IMF.

“Despite global efforts to curb carbon emissions, further intensification of climate stresses seems inevitable,” said IMF. “By 2050, average summertime temperatures could exceed 30 degrees Celsius in half the region’s countries.”