UAE joins UN Secretary-General’s Critical Energy Transition Minerals Panel in Copenhagen - GulfToday

UAE joins UN Secretary-General’s Critical Energy Transition Minerals Panel in Copenhagen


This photo shows the dignitaries and officials at the conference. WAM

Abdulla Balalaa, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Energy and Sustainability Affairs, participated at the United Nations’ Critical Energy Transition Minerals (CETM) Panel hosted in the Danish capital, Copenhagen. The event convened government representatives, organisations and experts from different backgrounds to discuss the important role of critical minerals amid global transition to renewable energy. António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, also took part in the discussion with panel members on the subject.

The CETM Panel was announced by Secretary-General António Guterres during the 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), hosted by the UAE in 2023. The panel allocates particular focus on critical energy transition minerals where members exchange views on aspects related to critical minerals, and aims to come up with voluntary guiding principles to ensure a just transition.

Critical energy transition minerals are vital components in many of today's clean energy technologies, including wind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles, and battery storage. To highlight their significance for the green transition, Balalaa engaged in various discussions concerning trade and investment, building climate resilience, and strengthening protection mechanisms.

Emphasising the panel’s significant potential to create tangible progress, Balalaa underscored the need to drive economic opportunities and support the most vulnerable communities from climate repercussions, stressing the need to open up investments in the field, to counter potential delays to the energy transition. He noted the importance of focusing on areas of convergence and areas of mutual interest, with respect to the constantly evolving dynamics of the international critical energy minerals market.

He also exchanged views with counterparts on the socio-economic, climate and environmental aspects of energy transition materials.

At the in-person panel meeting, Balalaa stressed the importance of strengthening multilateral action to counter economic and social challenges faced by the most vulnerable regions. In this regard, he discussed current climate challenges, such as water scarcity, as demand for critical energy minerals increases, and highlighted the importance of defining a clear roadmap for the use of extractive minerals, stressing the importance of working together to ensure a just and equitable energy transition that leaves no one behind and delivers lasting socio-economic opportunities in alignment with the 2030 SDG’s.

Furthermore, Balalaa emphasised the need for fostering dialogue and collaboration and providing accessible finance, a key focus at the upcoming COP29 in Baku. He also advocated for the development of common and voluntary principles to guide the sustainable and equitable extraction of critical minerals and called for pragmatic, bold, and mutually beneficial solutions.

In his intervention, Balalaa urged participants to seize the opportunity presented by the panel, to create a new path where nations and communities can thrive while delivering on the principles of a just, orderly and equitable energy transition.

In line with the UAE’s efforts to lead climate change action through the UNSG’s CETM Panel, green investments and global financial commitments, the UAE has announced it will co-host the 2026 UN Water Conference with Senegal, building on the success of hosting COP28 in 2023.


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