UAE and UK make joint climate change pledge

Agreement comes before Cop26 summit and aims to accelerate economic growth

Britain's Conservative Party Chairman James Cleverly is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain, October 18, 2019.  REUTERS/Hannah McKay

The UAE and the UK on Saturday made a joint climate change pledge ahead of Britain hosting the Cop26 summit in November.

The agreement aims to strengthen bilateral co-operation to speed up climate action and environmental protection.

It was signed by Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Special Envoy for Climate, and James Cleverly, UK Minister of State for Middle East and North Africa.

The memorandum of understanding comes before the UN climate summit in November, due to be held in the city of Glasgow. The deal offers a framework for wide-ranging co-operation by government entities, companies and research agencies in support of realising Cop26 goals.

The agreement aligns with the UAE’s recently launched Principles of the 50 road map to mark the country’s Golden Jubilee.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber said the agreement builds on the UAE's support of the UK's climate initiatives.

"Fifteen years ago, the UAE made a strategic decision to invest heavily in innovation and low-carbon energy, especially renewables and in partnership with other countries," he said.

"In the UK, we were an anchor investor in some of the country’s largest wind projects – including Dudgeon and the London Array – that have helped make Great Britain the world’s leading market for offshore wind energy.

"Today’s MoU, on the eve of the UN climate summit in Glasgow, builds on our long-standing partnership with the UK, including on environmental co-operation and investment. We look forward to strengthening our collaboration across all sectors to help support and realise the bold ambitions the UK has outlined for Cop26."

Under the deal, the UAE and the UK will work together in seeking to deliver on the Paris Agreement, including by reducing emissions to keep 1.5°C in reach, facilitating greater action on adaptation, mobilising finance for climate action and collaborating on pathways to low emission and climate-resilient growth.

The UAE was the first country in the region to ratify and sign the Paris Accords and the first in the Middle East and North Africa to set an economy-wide reduction in emissions by 2030, as part of its second Nationally Determined Contributions.

The agreement with the UK focuses on facilitating the exchange of information on policies, programmes, regulations and business models that support joint efforts on climate action.

It will also improve research and development, promote investments and the adoption of technology, and support private sector collaboration as well as assist with co-ordination and co-operation on development and humanitarian activities.

November’s UN climate summit will include the official launch of the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate, co-founded by the UAE and the US with endorsement from the UK’s Cop26 presidency.

Updated: September 19th 2021, 3:41 AM