To support efforts to reduce global warming, the UAE pledges to reduce carbon emissions by a quarter by 2030, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said on Tuesday.
The UAE submitted its updated national pledges to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change as it increases its commitments to help meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
The Vice President and Ruler of Dubai affirmed the country's commitment to meeting climate change goals and increasing use of sustainable energy.
"Climate change is the most prominent battle for mankind over the coming decades, to preserve a healthy planet for generations to come," Sheikh Mohammed said on Twitter.
The UAE was among almost 200 countries to commit to the Paris Agreement five years ago.
By signing the agreement, 196 nations committed to keeping global warming at less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit temperature rises to 1.5°C.
The effect of the coronavirus pandemic, when lockdowns worldwide prompted record falls in greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel demand, made 2020 an unexpectedly good year for the climate.
The UN and the Global Carbon Project said this month planet-warming carbon pollution was set to fall 7 per cent this year, the largest single-year drop in history, AFP reported.
But the UN said last week that, without a profound shift towards green energy, this year's dip in emissions would have only a "negligible impact" on long-term warming.
The UAE has led the region in climate change policy since the Paris deal, initially committing to generate 24 per cent of its energy from clean sources by 2021 and later increasing that target to 50 per cent by 2050.
This month, the UAE Cabinet approved a set of environmental commitments related to clean energy and carbon emissions.
"Climate change is the greatest global challenge in the future, which requires serious, real and continuous efforts," Sheikh Mohammed said.
To meet its clean energy targets, the country has made a commitment to expand solar power capacity, in addition to the 1.2 gigawatt Noor Abu Dhabi – the largest single-site solar power plant in the world.
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company intends to expand its carbon capture, use and storage programme to handle 5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030, up from 800,000 tonnes now.
It will also establish a "hydrogen ecosystem" as it looks to meet growing global demand for the lighter and cleaner gas that is emerging as an alternative to fossil fuels.
This year, the UAE powered up the Arab world's first commercial nuclear power plant.
When fully connected, Barakah nuclear plant will deliver clean, efficient and reliable electricity for decades.
Located in Abu Dhabi's Al Dhafra region, it will provide about a quarter of the country’s electricity and eliminate up to 21 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year.
That is comparable to taking 3.2 million cars off the roads each year.
The annual Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which is hosted by renewables developer Masdar, will be held online from January 18 to 21, 2021.