The UAE has set a stricter target for reducing carbon emissions, with major cuts within this decade.
The government is seeking to slash emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 from a business-as-usual level, said the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. This compares with an earlier plan for a 31 per cent reduction.
It will seek reductions from industry, agriculture, and in power grid generation and transport.
“In the Year of Sustainability, when our nation hosts Cop28, this milestone announcement underlines our national commitment to more ambitious climate change,” Minister of Climate Change and Environment Mariam Al Mheiri told reporters in Dubai.
The minister said the government “views climate action not only as a strategic imperative for the environment and our future generations, but also as an opportunity for sustainable economic growth and socially inclusive prosperity”.
The ministry has listed its target reductions across the sectors. These include a 51 per cent cut in emissions from electric power grids; 56 per cent from transport emissions; a reduction of 22 per cent in emissions produced in the agriculture sector as well as an 8 per cent cut in emissions created from waste.
The plan is part of a third update of the UAE's second Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).
She said this aim will bring together the entire nation, including the public and private sectors, to “accelerate the UAE's journey to net-zero emissions by 2050".
The country aims to triple its investments in renewable energy in the next seven years and to establish a specialised national research and development centre for the hydrogen sector, said the ministry.
These steps “reflect the UAE's pro-climate, pro-growth philosophy – the desire to reduce the UAE's environmental footprint, while driving economic, social and sustainable opportunities that climate action creates,” the ministry added.
Net greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced to 182 million metric tons of Co2 equivalent by the end of the decade.
“This marks an absolute emissions reduction of 19 per cent compared to the 2019 base year level,” said the statement.
The development comes as the UAE is set to host the Cop28 climate summit.
Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Cop28’s president-designate and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, held talks in Spain on Tuesday with EU EU energy and environment ministers.
Frans Timmermans, the European Commission member in charge of climate action, said EU ministers were “ready to listen” to Dr Al Jaber.
“[This] will be an essential Cop meeting where the world will take stock of what has been done and what still needs to be done,” he said.
“I think it’s no secret when I say that what’s been done is not enough. We need to do more.
“I know that he’s ambitious. I know that he wants to take us forward,” added Mr Timmermans, who was speaking at the meeting in Valladolid, Spain.
“I know that he’s also going to be very clear on reducing unabated fossil fuels which is an important element of getting us to net zero. I know that he also has clear ideas on adaptation, on finance, on loss and damage.”