UAE's Zero Carbon Ventures raises $5 million in seed funding

Emirati businessman and Dubai ruling family member Sheikh Ahmed bin Mana backs investment and appointed chairman of the company's board

Sheikh Ahmed bin Mana (centre) with Zero Carbon Ventures founder and chief executive Martin Reynolds (third left). Photo: Zero Carbon Ventures
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Zero Carbon Ventures, a UAE-based company dedicated to bringing carbon-reducing technologies to the Middle East and North Africa, has raised $5 million in seed funding from Emirati businessman and Dubai ruling family member Sheikh Ahmed bin Mana.

Sheikh Ahmed was also appointed as the company's strategic investor and chairman of the board of directors, Zero Carbon Ventures said in a statement on Thursday.

The funding will help the company deliver decarbonisation projects and accelerate its efforts towards global sustainability initiatives on a wider scale, it said.

“Our ambition has always been to enact tangible change. Our fully established and experienced senior management team ... is incredibly well-positioned to drive our sustainability initiatives even further,” Martin Reynolds, chief executive of Zero Carbon Ventures, said.

The company, which was established in 2022, has offices in Masdar City and Abu Dhabi Global Market. One of its projects is tackling the issue of methane emitted from landfills by capturing the gas before it escapes into the atmosphere and repurposing it to valuable commodities, according to its website.

In October 2022, Masdar City and Zero Carbon Ventures signed a preliminary pact to explore collaboration on advanced technologies to reduce carbon emissions in the UAE capital.

The UAE will host the Cop28 climate conference in November. The meeting, which will follow on from Cop27 in Egypt last year, will seek solutions to the threats posed by climate change.

The Arab world’s second-largest economy has been investing heavily in renewable energy projects to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

The country approved an updated version of the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 and the development of the National Hydrogen Strategy in July.

As part of the plan, the UAE plans to invest Dh200 billion ($54 billion) by 2030 to ensure energy demand is met while sustaining economic growth.

Abu Dhabi also announced its Climate Change Strategy for 2023-2027 in July, aimed at reducing emissions by 30 million tonnes by 2027, from 135 million tonnes in 2016.

Major clean energy projects the UAE is developing include the Barakah nuclear plant, a two-gigawatt solar plant in Abu Dhabi's Al Dhafra region, and the five-gigawatt Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai.

The Al Dhafra plant is expected to mitigate 2.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, while the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will reduce 6.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year when complete.

Updated: September 21, 2023, 4:00 AM