The UAE believes that taking steps to combat climate change is a powerful tool in stimulating economic growth, said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Special Envoy for Climate Change and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology.
He was speaking in London during high-level discussions on the environment, before the UN Cop26 climate summit is held in November in Glasgow, Scotland.
Dr Al Jaber also emphasised the UAE’s offer to host Cop28 in 2023. He held talks with John Kerry, US special presidential envoy for climate, and Cop26 President Alok Sharma, among other officials.
“Our leadership firmly believes that proactive climate action is a powerful engine of economic growth,” Dr Al Jaber said.
“In line with this vision, the UAE has always been a regional leader, as the first country in the region to sign and ratify the Paris Agreement and the first in the region to set an economy-wide reduction in emissions by 2030, as part of our second nationally determined contribution.
“We are keen to partner with the rest of the world to share best practices, technology and innovation, ensuring we fast track efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change in ways that deliver real and substantial social and economic benefits.”
The legally binding Paris Agreement calls for the increase in global temperatures to be limited to below 2°C, and ideally 1.5°C, compared with pre-industrial levels. This is to be achieved by 2050.
Dr Al Jaber also met UK government business ministers and Bernard Looney, chief executive of BP, in an effort to bolster UAE-UK partnerships, including in sustainable growth.
“The UAE’s track record and future ambitions in climate action perfectly align with the country’s plans to diversify and build a knowledge-based economy, spur sustainable development across key sectors and bring socio-economic benefits to our country while influencing progress regionally and internationally,” Dr Al Jaber said.
The London talks, held over two days, marked the first face-to-face ministerial meeting of its kind in more than 18 months, the UK government said.