The United Arab Emirates on Thursday (Oct 7) announced a plan for net-zero emissions by 2050, and would oversee 600 billion dirhams (US$163 billion) in investment in renewable energy.
This makes it the first country in the Middle East and North Africa region to launch a concrete initiative to achieve that climate commitment.
The Gulf state has launched several measures over the past year – coinciding with 50 years since the country’s founding – to attract investment and foreigners to help the economy recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The economic initiatives also come amid a growing economic rivalry with Gulf neighbour Saudi Arabia to be the region’s trade and business hub.
“We are committed to seize the opportunity to cement our leadership on climate change within our region and take this key economic opportunity to drive development, growth and new jobs as we pivot our economy and nation to net zero,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai.
The UAE, an OPEC member, has in the past 15 years invested $40 billion in clean energy, the government said. Its first nuclear power plant, Barakah, has been connected to the national grid and the UAE aims to produce 14GW of clean energy by 2030, up from about 100MW in 2015, it said.
No further details on the 600 billion dirhams of investment were given.
The UAE will use the path to net zero as a way to create economic value, increase industrial competitiveness and enhance investment, said Sultan Al Jaber, minister of industry and advanced technology and special envoy for climate change.
The UAE is bidding to host the COP28 global climate talks in 2023.
Source: Channel News Asia