UAE, UK must work more closely in green AI, technology: Boris Johnson

Addressing the Green Hydrogen Summit, Johnson took note of the incessant spell of rain recorded across the UAE

by

Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Tue 16 Apr 2024, 10:57 PM

The UAE and the UK must work “ever more closely” in areas like green technology, and collaborate on projects including battery technology, artificial intelligence, and nuclear reactors, said former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Abu Dhabi.

Addressing the Green Hydrogen Summit held at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), Johnson took note of the incessant spell of rain recorded across the UAE.


“I think I brought the London weather with me,” he quipped.

“There could be no better place in Abu Dhabi to hold a summit on the vital subject of green hydrogen,” Johnson said while recollecting his trip to Abu Dhabi during his term as the Mayor of London (2008 to 2016) when he was given a tour by Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and the chairman of Masdar, on a self-driving electric vehicle.


Johnson pointed out the growing engagement between the two countries.

“For years, you have been helping us, in the UK, to change the whole way we think about power generation,” he said while noting about the London Array – one of the world's largest wind farms opened in 2013 helping power half a million British homes.

“In 2022, when I was the prime minister, we had 26 per cent of our electricity generated by wind power alone.”

London Array project is a joint venture between Abu Dhabi’s Masdar, German firm RWE, Denmark’s Orsted, and CDPQ based in Canada.

3GW DBS project

“Today, together, the UAE and the UK stand on the brink of an even more astonishing project,” he said referring to the 3 gigawatts Dogger Bank South (DBS) project – one of the world’s largest planned offshore wind farms. In February, Abu Dhabi’s Masdar completed its acquisition of a 49 per cent shareholding in the project.

Jonson emphasised the significance of leadership and technological innovation in bolstering cooperation.

“Innovation requires countries like the UAE and the UK to work ever more closely together, everything from battery technology to artificial intelligence. And I think the potential for our two countries is enormous. Because we know each other so well and we trust each other so much.”

Hailing the UAE for the generation of clean energy through the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in Abu Dhabi, Johnson said: “There’s so much that we can do together on small modular reactors of the type made by Rolls Royce.”

Stressing on further collaboration to develop green technologies, he said: “Together we will not only promote peace, we will develop the technological solutions that will enable the world to tackle climate change, cut the cost of energy in the long term, and to produce millions of good well-paid jobs. The UAE and the UK will be in the lead on green hydrogen and all other forms of green technology.”

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