UAE crucial in addressing climate change, Sheikh Abdullah says

The Foreign Minister said the UAE’s accomplishments include appreciation for natural resources and the need for conservation.

ABU DHABI // The two-day Abu Dhabi Ascent meeting that starts today highlights the UAE’s pivotal role in providing solutions to climate change, said the Foreign Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed.

The meeting is in preparation for the Climate Summit to be attended by heads of state in New York in September.

“Our contribution is based on a combination of strong domestic action, international investment and support for international cooperation,” said Sheikh Abdullah.

“In barely two generations we have built a modern nation in the desert.”

The United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, will convene a gathering of about 100 ministers and leaders, including Mexico’s former president, Felipe Calderon, Britain’s former prime minister, Tony Blair, and former US vice president Al Gore.

The International Renewable Energy Agency is advocating initiatives to accelerate the use of renewable energy at Abu Dhabi Ascent. The meeting would encourage ambitious actions to reduce carbon emissions, said Sheikh Abdullah.

“The fact that this meeting is being held in the UAE is a tribute to the central role we now play in supporting practical actions to address climate change,” he said.

“This remarkable achievement owes much to three principles that have guided us throughout our history.”

The UAE’s accomplishments include appreciation for natural resources and the need for conservation. It also has a principle of international cooperation, since the UAE relies on trade for food supplies, and agricultural disruptions in one country would raise global food prices.

“We live in an interconnected world, where what impacts one country affects us all,” said the Foreign Minister.

“Protecting agriculture and other important systems from climate change will be an important part of the discussions in Abu Dhabi. The UAE firmly believes in multilateralism. Alone, no country can address climate change. Together, we all can.”

The UAE’s third principle is ensuring citizens’ welfare while preparing for global challenges.

“This is why the UAE has invested at home and abroad in solutions to the climate challenge,” said Sheikh Abdullah. “We have led the region in deploying clean energy, including four nuclear generators that are now under construction and the world’s largest concentrating solar power plant, Shams 1, developed by Masdar and opened last year.”

newsdesk@thenational.ae

Published: May 3, 2014 04:00 AM

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