UAE and France to explore opportunities to boost clean energy sector

Projects will be developed jointly and Abu Dhabi's Masdar will lead the initiative on behalf of the Emirates

Dr Sultan Al Jaber and Bruno Le Maire met in Abu Dhabi on Monday. Photo: Masdar
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The UAE and France have agreed to develop commercial and other opportunities as part of the Cop28 global climate summit, to further accelerate the development of clean energy.

Projects will be developed jointly, with Abu Dhabi’s clean energy company Masdar leading the UAE side.

The partnership aims to “fully align with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change”, with each opportunity being assessed based on the relevant and internationally accepted methodology, Masdar said on Tuesday.

The programme, which will be officially launched in November during the Cop28 climate summit, will combine French and Emirati expertise, especially in the decarbonisation of hard-to-abate industries, including clean hydrogen solutions for mobility.

The two sides will look to deliver “tangible, positive impacts” on climate change mitigation and the adaptation of climate-orientated projects on biodiversity.

“This initiative builds on the long-standing partnership between the UAE and France to take advantage of practical, commercial opportunities for low-carbon growth that will accelerate the energy transition and promote climate action and sustainable economic development in both our countries and across the globe,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, President-designate for Cop28 and the UAE's special envoy on climate change.

“Leveraging our combined technological and energy expertise, we will intensify our efforts to promote renewable and zero carbon energies to decarbonise economies and, in particular, hard-to-abate sectors.”

France throws its support behind Cop28 in UAE

French Minister for Economy, Finance, Industry and Digital Security Bruno Le Maire speaks during a meeting with Dhaher bin Dhaher Al Mheiri, CEO of ADGM Authority (not pictured), in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, January 30, 2023.  REUTERS / AbdelHadi Ramahi

As the UAE prepares to host Cop28, “we are intent on making it a Cop of action and a Cop for all”, said Dr Al Jaber, who is also the Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, managing director and group chief executive of Adnoc and chairman of Masdar.

“We are extending an open invitation to the world to join us in constructive efforts to raise ambition, move from deliberation to delivery and achieve the central goal of the Paris Agreement to keep 1.5[°C above pre-industrial levels target] alive,” he said.

On Monday, French Finance and Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said the UAE could count on the support of the French government and its corporate sector to make Cop28 a huge success, not only for the Emirates but also for the whole region and the planet.

“I want to make very clear to my Emirati friends, you can count on the support of France,” Mr Le Maire, who also met Dr Al Jaber in Abu Dhabi on Monday, told top business executives and investors at the Abu Dhabi Global Market.

At the Cop28 climate summit, the meeting of heads of state, finance and business leaders and members of civil society will take stock of what has been achieved since the Paris Agreement of 2015.

The latest initiative by the UAE and France builds on their existing partnership in the clean and renewable energy sector.

French and Emirati companies have already joined forces to develop, invest and operate more than 6.2 gigawatts of clean and renewable energy projects around the globe, including two of the world’s largest single-site solar projects in the UAE.

The companies have mobilised more than $6 billion in investment and have displaced about 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually through their operations.

“This targeted programme will leverage synergies between public and private sectors from both countries to accelerate the implementation of impactful projects of clean energy development for transportation,” Mr Le Maire said.

“I am very happy [about] this new illustration of France-UAE strategic partnership and our common objective to raise ambitions towards Cop28”.

Updated: February 01, 2023, 10:23 AM