UAE Regional Climate Dialogue

A Shared Commitment to Renewable Energy and Climate Change

In a region with extreme heat and scarce natural water sources, the UAE is taking aggressive action to meet the global climate challenge and believes low-carbon investments will support economic growth and job creation.

Partnerships between the UAE and US are driving advances in sustainability and clean energy technology. Emirati experts and officials work with the US and other international partners to strengthen cooperation around shared sustainability goals. The UAE will host the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP28, in 2023.

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UAE-US Initiatives

Cooperation with the United States is central to the UAE’s climate plan. The UAE was one of 40 countries to participate in the White House Leaders Summit on Climate in April 2021, where the US and UAE announced the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate). The joint initiative officially launched at COP26 with a growing coalition of support from 40 countries and over 130 non-government partners. AIM for Climate has already raised $4 billion of increased investment, and has set a goal of doubling that investment to $8 billion by November 2022, to accelerate innovation for climate-smart agriculture and food systems over the next five years.

US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry has traveled several times to the UAE to engage with UAE officials, including Special Envoy for Climate Change HE Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, and highlighted the UAE's climate leadership. Following bilateral discussions, the UAE and US are committed to taking action against climate change and working to accelerate economic growth and sustainable development.

Click here to learn about the actions and initiatives the UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change is leading to address the climate crisis.

UAE Adoption of Clean Energy

The UAE has pioneered renewable energy in the heart of the hydrocarbon industry and has committed to reach net zero emissions by 2050. This builds on the UAE's second UNFCCC Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) submitted in December 2020, which made it the first country in the region to commit to an economy-wide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

The development of a peaceful nuclear energy sector is a key component of the strategy. With the support of US partners, the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant will save up to 21 million tons of carbon emissions each year once fully operational.

The UAE is working to lower the carbon impact of hydrocarbons. Recognizing that the world will continue to rely on oil and gas for the midterm, the UAE is a leader in carbon capture, and is reducing the carbon intensity of its production operations. 

Through over 15 years of R&D and policy work, the UAE has brought the cost of solar power below that of natural gas. Solar energy is now available at 1.35 cents per kilowatt hour, one of the lowest rates in the world.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is working with GE to build the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai, the world’s largest single-site solar project. At its planned total capacity, it will power up to 1.3 million homes. The solar park will use GE’s liquid-cooled solar inverters to convert solar panel output to grid-ready electrical currents.

Meanwhile, the Noor Abu Dhabi solar park, which began operations in June 2019, will offset the UAE’s carbon dioxide emissions by the equivalent of 200,000 cars per year. UN Secretary General António Guterres visited the site after it launched, calling it “the kind of clean and efficient solution needed to address the global climate emergency.”

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Antonio Guterres

International Engagement

The first Middle Eastern nation to sign the Paris Agreement, the UAE is committed to global partnership and domestic policy for a low-carbon future. In 2010, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) – an intergovernmental organization that promotes sustainability – established its headquarters in the UAE, marking the first time an international organization with global membership has been headquartered in the region. At COP26, the UAE and IRENA launched the Energy Accelerator Financing Platform to assist countries' transition to renewable energy sources.

The UAE also joined the Global Methane Pledge at COP26, which aims to reduce global methane emissions 30% over the next decade.

In January 2021, the UAE launched the Abu Dhabi Hydrogen Alliance, which will advance low-carbon green and blue hydrogen in emerging international markets and help build a substantial hydrogen economy in the UAE. The Abu Dhabi Hydrogen Alliance fits into the UAE’s greater Hydrogen Leadership Roadmap, a national blueprint to support domestic, low-carbon industries.

Beyond its multilateral commitments, the UAE supports global sustainable development. To date, the UAE has invested in renewable energy ventures with a total value of $17 billion across the globe, from the UK to India to Uzbekistan. The UAE provides $1 billion of aid for renewables to more than 40 countries, with a special focus on island and least-developed nations.

In January 2017, the UAE announced a $50 million fund for renewable energy projects in 16 Caribbean islands. The Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund aims to reduce energy costs in the region and improve energy security. Launched in 2013, the UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund supported renewable energy projects in 11 Pacific Island countries through the allocation of grants.

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