The UAE vowed to “convert pledges and promises” into greater sustainability and economic growth during a global conference aimed at addressing the pressing challenges of climate change.
An Emirati delegation is participating in the meeting and set out the case for progressive action to protect the planet at the Bonn Climate Change Conference in Germany.
The 10-day summit, which is being held under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, will help to shape the agenda for environmental strategy before the 27th Conference of the Parties — known as Cop27 — in Egypt in November.
The UAE is stepping up efforts to hit its target to reach net zero emissions by 2050 through a wide-ranging green strategy focused on a shift to renewable energy and a focus on new technology, which will help slash carbon emission levels.
The country's commitment to protecting the environment is in line with its hosting of Cop28 in 2023.
Mariam Al Mheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, and Dr Sultan Al Jaber, special envoy for climate change and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology commented on the UAE’s participation in the meeting.
Dr Al Jaber said the UAE's environmental vision will promote green policies while ensuring the economy continues to thrive.
“The UAE is keen to advance progressive climate action at this important gathering leading up to Cop27,” he said.
“In our approach to the Cop process, we aim to convert pledges and promises into practical outcomes that will deliver sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
“The UAE is driving a net-zero-by-2050 strategic initiative as it is a low-carbon, high-growth economic model that will guide our sustainable development for the next 50 years. Making the right decisions and investments now will create diversified economic growth that fosters future-critical industries, knowledge and jobs.”
Dr Al Jaber said the UAE was working closely with Egypt — before both countries host the next two Cop sessions — to help combat climate change, “close the emissions reduction gap” and make important steps towards goals set out at the 2015 Paris climate accord, which focused on cutting emissions to tackle global warming.
Climate change 'defining challenge of our era'
Ms Al Mheiri said the UAE was eager to collaborate with the international community to bolster sustainability.
“The UAE is committed to driving inclusive, robust and effective collective climate action worldwide. In our quest to achieve net zero by mid-century, we are adopting a science-based approach to determine the impact of our sustainability measures on the carbon footprint,” she said.
“We are developing the National Strategy for Net Zero 2050 to inform our next steps, and have launched the National Dialogue for Climate Ambition that aims to engage all sectors in our decarbonisation drive.
“At the Bonn Climate Change Conference, we are joining the call to mobilise action and raise ambition to ensure a successful Cop27.
“Climate change is the defining challenge of our era, and it is progressing exponentially. We need solidarity to move faster to flatten the climate curve and avert worst-case scenarios.
“The UAE is keen to share expertise, identify overlapping objectives and explore areas of collaboration with like-minded nations that prioritise a development approach that is good for people and the planet. Together, we can build climate resilience capacities, boost green investments and step up meaningful climate efforts.”
The UAE was the first country in the region to sign and ratify the Paris Agreement in line with its ambitions to slash emissions.
Last week, President Sheikh Mohamed planted a ghaf tree to mark World Environment Day during a tour of a Dubai agricultural research centre dedicated to boosting sustainability and food security across the region and beyond.
Sheikh Mohamed praised staff for their vital contribution to agriculture development, which is set to be a significant sector in the UAE for years to come.
He said the centre embodied the country's vision to promote sustainable development through innovation and scientific research.
Sheikh Mohamed said the centre helped to find answers to pressing challenges posed by the climate and to protect precious water resources.