High-level dialogue on energy highlights UAE’s policies, projects - GulfToday

High-level dialogue on energy highlights UAE’s policies, projects


UAE ministers and UN officials during the event.

The Environment Business Majlis held a special session dedicated to the High-level Dialogue on Energy (HLDE), co-hosted by Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) and Co-Chair of UN-Energy.

The meeting brought together stakeholders from the UAE’s energy sector, such as Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, Tabreed, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), Masdar, and Bee’ah. Representatives of the World Green Economy organisation (WGEO) also attended the event.

The aim of the session was to brief the audience on the HLDE, which will be hosted during the UN General Assembly, as well as their potential contributions to the UAE energy compact – a set of voluntary actions and commitments targeting energy transition and increasing clean energy accessibility.

The UAE is a Global Theme Champion for the HLDE, leading the process of enabling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through inclusive, just energy transition.

The meeting kicked off with opening remarks by Dr Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Ms Ogunbiyi, and Mohamed Al Hammadi, CEO of ENEC. The agenda also featured an overview of the HLDE by Minoru Takada, Energy Team Leader at the Division of SDGs (DSDG) of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), followed by a roundtable discussion.

Dr Al Nuaimi said: “We are strong believers in the ability of clean energy to empower communities and change lives, as well as its instrumental role in tackling climate change. With this belief, the UAE has embarked on a transition from a complete reliance on hydrocarbon energy to a diversified energy mix, including solar and nuclear power.” He added: “As major players in the country’s energy space, you have a key role in this transition. It is evident that the benefits of shifting to clean energy greatly exceed its costs. From a financial perspective, every US dollar spent on the energy transition is estimated to generate benefits valued at between $2 and $5.5. From a social perspective, switching to clean energy sources reduces pollution, improving public health. And from an environmental perspective, using renewable sources of energy and increasing energy efficiency is the only way to give us a fighting chance against the existential threat of climate change.” The Minister called on the participants to join forces and work towards a rapid decline in energy-related greenhouse gas emissions to set the country on a climate-neutral path.

Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei said: “Today, renewables, alongside new technologies and services, are transforming the business of supplying and delivering power. For this energy transition, a more responsive and interconnected power system is emerging. The changing energy landscape offers new opportunities for bold leadership and action.”

Highlighting the efforts of UAE entities to explore new low-carbon sources of energy with a focus on clean hydrogen, he added: “The UAE has the natural resources, supporting technological expertise, and the political stability needed for becoming a key player in the global hydrogen supply chain.”

Ms Ogunbiyi said: “The UAE’s level of ambition on achieving an inclusive and clean energy transition raises the bar for other countries to follow ahead of the HLDE in September. Moving from paper to action, the UAE’s policies and projects are driving energy affordability. One of the points that we have been highlighting is that if we don’t get to a point of clean energy affordability, we will not get to net zero.”

She added: “At the HLDE, energy champions, including the UAE, are taking the lead in driving the clean energy transition and creating momentum in the run-up to COP26. The role of the private sector is crucial. Owing to the UAE’s leadership, we saw amazing public-private partnerships. We look forward to working with energy stakeholders in the UAE to help them advance their clean energy profiles and connect with partners in other regions to scale up the solutions needed to reach SDG 7 by 2030.”

 Notably, the UAE’s clean energy capacity has seen a paramount growth in the past decade, and is on track to reach 14 GW by 2030.

Established in 2016, the Environment Business Majlis serves as a platform to encourage private sector entities to invest in various environmental and economic domains and become dynamic contributors to the UAE’s sustainability agenda.

The UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) was established in February 2006 as the Ministry of Environment and Water. Under its redefined scope, the ministry has taken on a dual mandate. On the national level, the ministry aims to strengthen the UAE’s efforts in preserving the environment and promoting food diversity in accordance with the nation’s aspiration to emerge as a key benchmark for sustainable development. On the global level, MOCCAE joins international stakeholders in combating climate change and profile the UAE’s path-breaking achievements in the sector at thought leadership platforms worldwide.

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