Abu Dhabi: The UAE and the US on Monday announced their shared commitment to tackle climate challenge in a joint statement on the urgency of raising global climate ambitions.
Both countries announced their intent to cooperate on new investments in financing decarbonisation across the MENA region and beyond, and to focus on assisting the most vulnerable adapt to the effects of climate change.
Dr Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and the UAE’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, said: “Together with the US, the UAE has affirmed that decisive, proactive climate action can be an engine for economic growth and sustainable development. Building on the legacy and experience of the UAE, which has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to sustainable development and today operates three of the world’s largest solar facilities, we will focus, together with the US, on joint efforts on renewable energy, hydrogen, industrial decarbonisation, carbon capture and storage, nature-based solutions, and low-carbon urban design.”
He added: “The UAE is rich in opportunities with the world’s lowest solar power costs, and significant carbon capture investments. We look forward to sharing our experience with the international community to turn climate action into economic opportunity.”
Private sector role
Noting the progress made by many leading companies, both countries agreed to work closely with the private sector to mobilise the necessary investment and technology resources needed to stem the climate crisis and support the economy.
At the national level, the US and the UAE confirmed their intent to work towards decarbonising their economies according to their national circumstances and economic development plans, including reducing carbon emissions by 2030.
The US and the UAE stressed their commitment to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and promote the success of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow.
The Joint Statement emerges from the ‘UAE Regional Dialogue for Climate Action’ held on Sunday that convened climate leaders from across the MENA region.
The event drew the participation of high-level dignitaries from across the region as well as global partners and organisations. Participants included COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma, US Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry, together with ministers and high level representatives from the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Iraq, Sudan and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Full text of the US-UAE Joint Statement
“The US and the UAE are committed to working together to take on the climate challenge. We believe decisive action can be an engine for economic growth and sustainable development.
“We will work to strengthen the implementation of the Paris Agreement and promote the success of COP26 in Glasgow. Mindful of the importance and urgency of raising global climate ambition, we each intend to take steps to decarbonise our economies in line with our national circumstances and economic development plans, including reducing our emissions by 2030.
“We will also cooperate closely to make new investments in financing decarbonisation across both the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and the wider international community and help the most vulnerable adapt to the inevitable effects of climate change. In this regard, we are encouraged by new regional initiatives, such as the Green Middle East initiative by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“We will particularly focus our joint efforts on renewable energy, hydrogen, industrial decarbonisation, carbon capture and storage, nature-based solutions, and low-carbon urban design — exemplified by model cities like Masdar City, and the world’s largest single-site solar facility in Noor in Abu Dhabi. We take note of opportunities in the UAE, such as the world’s lowest solar power costs, and significant carbon capture investments.
“We will partner with the global community to take the necessary steps to keep a Paris-aligned temperature limit within reach, including through country-specific enhancements to nationally determined contributions. We recognise the strong climate efforts of many leading companies and will work closely with the private sector to mobilise the investment and transformative mitigation and adaptation technologies needed to stem the climate crisis and support the economy.
“We are encouraged by the conversations we held in Abu Dhabi with other countries in the region, which we believe inaugurated a new era of cooperation in the region for a future focused on prosperity through climate policy, investment, innovation, and sustainable economic growth.”