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UAE, South Korea launch climate action

President Moon Jae-in reiterated Seoul’s commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, slash methane emissions and boost renewables



Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and South Korean President Moon Jae-in leave an event at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week at Expo 2020 Dubai. — AP
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and South Korean President Moon Jae-in leave an event at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week at Expo 2020 Dubai. — AP

By AP

Published: Tue 18 Jan 2022, 12:25 AM

The president of South Korea on Monday vowed that his fossil fuel-dependent country and the UAE would jointly expand their investments in renewable energy to tackle climate change.

During a visit to the UAE, President Moon Jae-in reiterated Seoul’s commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, slash methane emissions and boost renewables as the nation comes under growing pressure to combat climate change. “Climate change is becoming a stern reality before our eyes,” he told officials and business leaders gathered at a sustainable conference in Dubai. “I hope that UAE and South Korea’s hydrogen cooperation will bring forward carbon-neutral, sustainable futures.”

South Korea imports fossil fuels from the Arabian Gulf, including from Abu Dhabi, to power its manufacturing-dependent economy.

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South Korean contractors built the UAE’s Barakah nuclear power plant, the first on the Arabian Peninsula and Seoul’s first attempt to build an atomic reactor abroad. The first of four reactors went online in the summer of 2020.

As part of Seoul’s pivot to greater environmental investments, Moon said on Monday that South Korea and Abu Dhabi were jointly planning to construct a massive plant that produces hydrogen in the form of ammonia.

South Korea is striving to meet its obligations under the Paris climate agreement despite its outsized reliance on coal for electricity generation. The UAE became the first nation in the region to promise to have net zero carbon emissions by 2050 — one of many pledges ahead of the UN climate summit last year.

On Sunday, Moon met His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The leaders reportedly reached a preliminary $3.5 billion deal to sell South Korean surface-to-air missiles to the UAE during their meeting.

Moon is set to travel on to Saudi Arabia and Egypt as part of his Mideast tour.


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