UAE seeking global solution to climate change, says official

Abu Dhabi-headquartered International Renewable Energy Agency concluded biannual two-day meeting yesterday


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Sat 29 Oct 2022, 1:20 PM

Last updated: Sat 29 Oct 2022, 4:26 PM

Abu Dhabi-headquartered International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is working with its 168 member states to support countries globally in their transition to a sustainable energy future, a top official said in Abu Dhabi.

IRENA, based in Masdar City, supports the adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, said Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, the Permanent Representative of the UAE to the IRENA.

"IRENA supports and helps accelerate the adaptation of renewable energy around the world, and they do that through different pillars. But mainly, IRENA helps countries to develop their legislative framework. They give them support on policies and help them to develop their skill sets in the country but also understanding (sic) the type of technologies that can be adapted in certain countries. Some will have more solar potential others will have more wind potential. So, just helping them mapping their environmental resources to understand which technology works best for them," Dr Al-Hosany told Khaleej Times in an interview.

In partnership with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and initiating initiatives like the Climate Investment Platform, IRENA has been able to advance energy transitions in developing and least-developed countries, especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

This week, Abu Dhabi hosted the 24th IRENA Council and related meetings, which concluded on Friday. The biannual two-day meeting gathered more than 400 delegates from 108 countries to discuss the world's energy transition ahead of the annual UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

"Even non-Council members were present because they also wanted their voices to be heard and understood. With 168 members, IRENA is almost reaching global membership. And we have developed, developing, least developed countries and those suffering from climate change and which want to be part of the solution. The UAE is offering a platform that helps, with the support of IRENA, certain countries transition into a more sustainable energy future."

According to the IRENA's World Energy Transitions Outlook, the pace of change seen globally has been inadequate in limiting rising temperatures to 1.5 degrees – the target the Paris climate agreement set. The latest UN Environment Programme data indicates that the world is on track for a temperature rise of between 2.4 degrees and 2.6 degrees by the end of this century.

Meanwhile, the UAE has embarked on the ambitious goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, making the country the first Mena nation to do so.

"The UAE is working closely with member states to understand how we can transition towards our carbon and renewable energy targets. Having a knowledge hub like IRENA here in the UAE is very important for us. It is helping us understand and benefit from its work."

"We are also part of the conversation and part of this international collaboration when it comes to global transition together to an inclusive energy future. So, having IRENA here, gives us the opportunity to host and convene different stakeholders and players that would be part of a solution that we are all seeking, which is a more sustainable and inclusive future."

Dr Al-Hosany noted that the UAE would have a high-level representation and active participation at COP27.

"The UAE is going to be very active in COP27. We will have a huge delegation. We will be participating in most of the platforms. We will have a very active pavilion to not only present the work we do but also provide a platform that convenes different stakeholders, and players, to see how we can prepare with the outcomes of COP27 for COP28. The UAE is going there with a clear mandate that we speak about how we are partners in this energy transition and climate action. So, we are going to speak about the work that we do. We will be active in the negotiation rooms," Dr Al-Hosany added.


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