Dubai-UAE: 25 November, 2020 – In a meeting with Sir Laurie Bristow, the UK government’s Regional Ambassador for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) to the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and China, His Excellency Dr Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, emphasized the importance of green recovery post-COVID-19.
He noted that ensuring the environmental friendliness of economic recovery plans will help the world overcome the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic while protecting the environment and sustaining natural resources.
At the meeting, His Excellency Dr Al Nuaimi said: “The UAE is currently finalizing its new Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement, and will be ready to share it at COP26. I am proud to say that we raised the bar high for our climate targets.”
He added: “On the sidelines of the UN Climate Action Summit in 2019 in New York, the UAE presented upgrades to its NDC through adopting the National Climate Change Plan 2017-2050, and setting a target of 50 percent clean energy in its total energy mix by 2050 in line with the UAE Energy Strategy 2050.
“As part of its sustained commitment to climate action, the country also announced joining the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants, an alliance that aims to improve air quality and reduce the momentum of climate change. Likewise, it is now a member of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People that supports the call to action for protecting more of the planet, as well as the Global Commission on Adaptation that aspires to advance climate adaptation solutions.”
His Excellency Dr Al Nuaimi provided an overview of the UAE’s recent efforts to support global climate action. A prime example was hosting the Abu Dhabi Climate Meeting in 2019 that drew the participation of 2,000 delegates from the UN leadership, ministers, and representatives of the public and private sectors, who presented and evaluated hundreds of plans to upgrade countries’ NDCs.
Furthermore, he outlined the latest global renewables projects led by Masdar, the UAE’s flagship energy company, such as the 400 MW Dumat Al Jandal in Saudi Arabia that will be the country’s first wind farm and the largest in the Middle East, and the 158-MW Čibuk 1 in Serbia, the largest utility-scale commercial wind project in the Western Balkans. He also highlighted Masdar’s involvement in the UK’s Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF) in partnership with Her Majesty’s Treasury and the Infrastructure Projects Authority.
On the home front, the Minister mentioned the 1.2 GW Noor Abu Dhabi solar plant, the upcoming 2 GW solar plant in Al Dhafra, the developments on the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, and the launch of the first reactor of the 5.6 GW Barakah nuclear power plant. In addition, he noted that the UAE is about to finalize the first climate change law in the region.
Wrapping up the meeting with Sir Laurie, His Excellency Dr Al Nuaimi reiterated the UAE’s dedication to driving concerted climate action, and readiness to provide support and expertise to ensure the success of the Climate Ambition Summit and COP26
About the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment
The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) was established in February 2006 as the Ministry of Environment and Water. Under its redefined scope, the ministry has taken on a dual mandate. On the national level, it aims to strengthen the UAE’s efforts in preserving the environment and promoting food diversity in accordance with the nation’s aspiration to emerge as a key benchmark for sustainable development. On the global level, MOCCAE joins international stakeholders in combating climate change and profiles the UAE’s path-breaking achievements in the sector at thought leadership platforms worldwide.