UAE Climate Action Plan at forefront of global efforts to address climate change

H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Head of the official UAE delegation to the 22nd session of the Conference of Parties (COP22) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), stressed the importance of supporting the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and translating its outcomes into successful actions that reduce the impact of global warming.
Sheikh Mansour’s remarks were part of the UAE’s national statement at COP22, delivered on his behalf by Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment.
In his statement, Sheikh Mansour expressed gratitude and appreciation to the leadership and people of the Kingdom of Morocco for hosting the COP22 Marrakesh climate conference.
He also applauded continued efforts of the UNFCCC Secretariat in achieving the aspirations of the world to ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.
"Turning the Paris Climate Agreement into real initiatives on the ground requires enormous efforts and collaboration at the local, regional and international levels," Sheikh Mansour said.
"The Paris Agreement mandates the adoption of a flexible approach that allows all countries, especially those in the developing world, to take urgent action, in line with their national priorities and circumstances."
Sheikh Mansour called upon the developed world to honour its commitments to extend financial support to developing countries, and help them in capacity building and climate change adaptation through technology transfer mechanisms.
He also expressed his confidence that the wide participation of countries, as well as non-state actors, at COP22 demonstrates the commitment and concerted efforts of the international community to minimise the impacts of climate change and enables the effective implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Sheikh Mansour highlighted the UAE’s pioneering efforts in addressing the climate change issues and noted that as a member state of the UNFCCC, and in line with its international commitments, the UAE ratified the Paris Climate Agreement and has hosted the World Green Economy Summit (WGES) for the past two years.
"The UAE is currently working on developing our National Climate Change plan that will serve as a framework for future initiatives and programmes to address climate issues," Sheikh Mansour said. "We have also adopted strategies that focus on the transition of our country from a hydrocarbon-focussed economy to a more diversified and knowledge-based one."
Providing an overview of the UAE’s green initiatives, Sheikh Mansour highlighted the launch of the Green Economy for Sustainable Development initiative as well as other key actions aimed at supporting research and development in the clean energy sector. He noted that these initiatives promote rationalisation of water consumption, improve energy efficiency, support the transition to a low-carbon economy, boost innovation and creativity and promote a culture of sustainability.
"The UAE is working hard to increase the share of clean energy to 27 percent of its total energy mix by 2021," Sheikh Mansour said. "Our nation also broke a world record for the second time this year when it received the lowest bidding price of US cents 2.42 per kilowatt-hour for a photovoltaic project."
"In addition, the UAE successfully implemented the 100 MW Shams 1 concentrated solar power project and is developing the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park that leverages both photovoltaic and solar technologies that will generate 5,000 MW of electricity by 2030," Sheikh Mansour added. "Above all, the country believes in the significance of public-private partnership as one of the key drivers of green growth."
Sheikh Mansour noted that the Paris Climate Agreement sends a clear message to the world, adding that governments have the responsibility to involve non-state actors and galvanise the efforts of all stakeholders towards achieving a common agenda.
"In the UAE, we are committed to working on initiatives that contribute to the mitigation of climate change through providing an effective platform that offers decision-makers, influencers and government and private sector leaders an opportunity to forge long-term partnerships. We are confident that such platforms will offer a strong impetus to global efforts to minimise the impacts of climate change," he said.
"Given this priority, the UAE will host the second Abu Dhabi Climate Global Action Day in our capital city of Abu Dhabi during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January 2017," he added.
Sheikh Mansour also expressed his strong belief in building bridges of cooperation and engaging the international community to encourage continued dialogue on climate change issues.
Sheikh Mansour invited COP22 delegates to participate in the Abu Dhabi Climate Action Day and the World Government Summit that will be held in Dubai in February 2017. The summit will include sessions focussed specifically on climate issues and promote joint initiatives and measures to address food security in the context of climate change. The event will also serve as an ideal opportunity to build partnerships and leverage capabilities to ensure a promising future for the coming generations.
The UAE’s participation in COP22 underscores its commitment to climate action and support of the Paris Agreement. The UAE delegation to COP22 included Sheikh Sultan bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, Special Adviser to the UAE President, Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy, Mohammed bin Ahmad Al Bowardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, and Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, DEWA.

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