Dubai: The UAE has made significant progress in combating climate change impacts through its renewable energy projects and several other key initiatives, a UAE minister said at a UN conference.
Dr Thani Ahmad Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said in his keynote speech at the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), that the UAE has made great strides in fighting climate change impacts through projects and several initiatives that will contribute to achieving the goals of the National Climate Change Plan 2050 and the National Climate Adaptation Program (NCAP).
The conference, held from November 6 to 17, 2017, in Bonn, Germany, discussed the next steps in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and review the progress of the signatory countries in achieving their climate change goals.
Fourth stage of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park was launched with a production capacity of 700MW as part of a plan to produce 5,000MW of energy by 2030.
Dr Al Zeyoudi said that in view of the substantial changes to be implemented in the next phase as part of the UAE Centennial Plan 2071, the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 has been announced to boost the country’s ambitions to raise the share of clean energy in the national energy mix to 27 per cent by 2021 and 50 per cent by 2050, in addition to laying the foundation stone of the ‘Noor Abu Dhabi Plant’ featuring cutting-edge photovoltaic technology with a potential to generate 1,177MW of solar energy.
Dr Al Zeyoudi added that the fourth stage of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park was launched with a production capacity of 700MW as part of a plan to produce 5,000MW of energy by 2030.
In addition, Dr Al Zeyoudi said the UAE has also laid the foundation for the first waste-to-energy project and implemented the first carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Dr Al Zeyoudi also highlighted one of UAE’s most stellar environmental achievements done by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), which has been leading the country’s efforts in the development of renewable energy technologies and solutions since its inception in 2006.
Masdar has invested about $8.5 billion (Dh31.2 billion) in local and global projects, contributing to the increase of renewable energy capacity by about 2.7 million GW.
Dr Al Zeyoudi stressed that the global conference is taking place at a time when the global climate has been worsening, and extreme weather events have been occurring at a faster and more severe pace than ever before.
“This conference serves as an ideal platform for strengthening cooperation frameworks that will allow countries to tackle the global challenges of climate change. Considering the current alarming situations, we need to act more swiftly to maintain the momentum created by the historic Paris Agreement if we are to translate its objectives into practical measures,” Dr Al Zeyoudi said.
“Today, let us together send a positive message from Bonn to the entire world through reaffirming our determination to move forward in shaping the future we aspire to achieve,” he added.
During the conference, Dr. Al Zeyoudi reaffirmed the UAE’s commitment to the objectives of the UNFCCC, the Paris Agreement and all relevant international resolutions, as well as the country’s determination to continue its voluntary participation in international efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
He called on developed countries to shoulder their responsibilities in addressing climate change impacts, reducing its consequences, and fulfilling their commitments.