United Nations chief hails UAE efforts on climate change

UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has praised the UAE for its efforts in mitigating the effects of global climate change.

By (Wam)

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Published: Wed 30 Apr 2014, 11:41 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 5:49 AM

“The UAE is emerging as a leader of a diverse energy economy,” he added.

“I count on other countries to follow the UAE’s example and to pursue the many untapped... opportunities to help control the global climate change. The longer we delay, the more we will pay — the sooner we act, the greater the benefits to people and the planet.”

The Secretary-General made these comments on the eve of announcing his participation in the Abu Dhabi Ascent meeting that will be held in Abu Dhabi from May 4-5, in preparation for the Climate Summit, which will be held later this year in New York.

“The Climate Summit is a critical opportunity to inspire and scale up the actions that will lead us towards a low-carbon, sustainable future,” said the Secretary-General. “The Abu Dhabi Ascent will play a pivotal role in mobilising action that will allow us to address climate change.”

The meeting in Abu Dhabi is designed to build momentum for the Climate Summit, which aims to catalyse transformative action and build political impetus ahead of the 2015 UNFCCC Climate Change Conference in Paris, where a global, binding climate agreement will be finalised.

“This is the decade of action,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and special envoy for energy and climate change. “And the world must work together to find solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change. The Abu Dhabi Ascent adds urgency and reinvigorates the need to address climate change and transition to a cleaner, more sustainable global energy mix.

“The meeting in Abu Dhabi underscores the role the UAE is playing as a true energy leader,” added Dr Al Jaber. “As a hydrocarbon-rich country, and a reliable exporter to international markets, we are leveraging our industry expertise to diversify the global energy mix. The acceleration and adoption of renewable energy and clean technologies is a key strategy for climate change mitigation. Today, the UAE is the only Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) nation supplying both hydrocarbons and renewable energy to the international market.”

The Abu Dhabi Ascent will explore areas for action that will have a high-impact in reducing emissions and building resilience, including adaptation, disaster risk reduction, agriculture, cities, climate finance, energy efficiency, forests, renewable energy, short-lived climate pollutants and transport. The meeting will also explore international and multi-stakeholder efforts that support ambitious on-the-ground actions.

The decision to host the Abu Dhabi Ascent underscores the reputation of the UAE as a forward-looking leader in driving global energy and climate change policy. The UAE’s influence as a strategic energy hub is also why Abu Dhabi was selected as the permanent home of the International Renewable Energy Agency - the first intergovernmental organisation in the Middle East.

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