Home to the world’s tallest tower, the world’s largest mall and the world’s longest driverless metro, the UAE is also the venue of the world’s largest single-site solar park.
Clean energy and sustainable development have thus always been at the heart of the economic diversification pursued by the UAE leadership, balancing the country’s superlative economic progress with clear environmental goals and conservation of natural resources.
Those goals were once again in the spotlight earlier this week with the appointment of Dr Sultan Al Jaber as the UAE’s special envoy for climate change.
With the appointment of a dedicated envoy on climate change, the UAE has taken a significant step to bolster the fight against global warming and preserving a green future for humanity
Announcing the appointment after a Cabinet meeting, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said Dr Al Jaber’s mandate would be to “represent the state in all external forums and all international understandings related to this vital issue, which will be at the top of the international agenda concerning the future of the world”.
Champion of clean energy
Those words and the appointment clearly reflect the utmost priority with which the UAE is dealing with climate change and sustainable growth — not only emerging as a champion of clean energy around the world, but also signalling that climate change and sustainable development are now central to national policies for the future. This was also clear with the environmental policy adopted by the Cabinet, which includes prioritising conservation, air quality, sustainable agricultural and the safe management of waste and chemicals, in the same meeting.
Whether it’s the pursuit of peaceful nuclear power, exploring the potential of new fuels such as hydrogen, helping Solar Impulse 2 become the first solar plane to fly around the world, pioneering the Zayed Sustainability Prize or hosting the global headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the UAE has consistently demonstrated its commitment in playing a vital global role to curb climate change.
Currently the Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and group chief executive of Adnoc, Dr Al Jaber himself has held several key roles on issues related to energy, economics and sustainable development — including as the chairman of clean energy company Masdar and as a member of the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change.
State-owned producer Adnoc has in the past few years emerged as one of the top five lowest greenhouse gas emitters in the oil and gas industry and has one of the lowest methane intensities in the world, while simultaneously expanding its carbon capture, utilisation and storage programme.
With the appointment of a dedicated envoy on climate change, the UAE has taken a significant step to bolster the fight against global warming and preserving a green future for humanity.