UAE and US vow to step up climate action before Washington summit

UAE Special Envoy for Climate Dr Sultan Al Jaber and US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm hold talks

US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, at Jubail Mangrove Park in Abu Dhabi in April.
US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, at Jubail Mangrove Park in Abu Dhabi in April.

The UAE and US underlined their joint commitment to robust action on climate change before a crucial summit in Washington.

Both countries agreed to raise ambitions in tackling the issue.

The commitment came during talks on Thursday between UAE Special Envoy for Climate, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, and US Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm.

The two met after the Regional Climate Dialogue in Abu Dhabi this month and their discussion came before the Leaders Summit on Climate next week being organised by US President Joe Biden.

As the world will still rely on hydrocarbon fuels for decades, it is essential to ensure they are produced responsibly

Dr Sultan Al Jaber

“The UAE believes there is a sound business case for progressive climate action, which can deliver more economic growth with fewer emissions,” Dr Al Jaber said.

“As the world will still rely on hydrocarbon fuels for decades, it is essential to ensure they are produced responsibly and are as low carbon as possible.

"The UAE is one of the least carbon-intensive producers in the world, and we are investing in technology to build on this distinct competitive advantage. Just as in the US, climate considerations are at the core of decision-making in the UAE, including domestic policy, foreign policy and national security."

UAE Special Envoy for Climate, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, and US Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm. Both sides underlined their commitment to tackling climate change. 
UAE Special Envoy for Climate, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, and US Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm. Both sides underlined their commitment to tackling climate change. 

Dr Al Jaber said that the partnership between companies across the US and UAE energy systems can be built upon to maximise opportunities for sustainable growth.

The discussion touched on the UAE’s climate leadership as an early investor in successful renewable energy projects within the Emirates and around the world. The discussion also focused on the UAE’s development of new zero-carbon fuels, such as hydrogen, that have the potential to play a significant role in the energy system in the next 20 years.

The two also discussed carbon-capture technologies as an essential tool for climate mitigation, with Dr Al Jaber noting that Adnoc is pioneering the use of industrial-scale carbon-capture technologies with the first such facility in the region.

Al Reyadah site has the capacity to capture 800,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

The meeting followed the visit of John Kerry, the US special presidential envoy for climate, to Abu Dhabi for the Regional Climate Dialogue hosted by the UAE. Regional leaders pledged bold action in the run-up to the Cop26 meeting in Glasgow this November.

The Regional Climate Dialogue in Abu Dhabi in pictures

Updated: April 16, 2021 11:03 PM

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