During UAE's keynote speech at COP23 in Bonn
Dubai-UAE: 19 November, 2017: His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, stated that the United Arab Emirates has made significant progress in combating the climate change impacts through its renewable energy projects and several initiatives and programs that will contribute to achieving the goals of the National Climate Change Plan 2050 and the National Climate Adaptation Program (NCAP), which aim to strengthen the country's national capacities to withstand the climate challenges and transform them into opportunities that ensure long-term economic growth for current and future generations.
This came during UAE's keynote speech at the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held from November 6 to 17, 2017 in Bonn, Germany, to discuss the next steps in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and review the progress of the signatory countries in achieving their climate change goals.
His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi said that in view of the substantial changes to be implemented in the next phase as part of the UAE Centennial Plan 2071, the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 has been announced to boost the country's ambitions to raise the share of clean energy in the national energy mix to 27% by 2021 and 50% by 2050, in addition to laying the foundation stone of the ‘Noor Abu Dhabi Plant' featuring cutting-edge photovoltaic technology with a potential to generate 1,177 MW of solar energy.
Dr. Al Zeyoudi added that the fourth stage of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park was launched with a production capacity of 700 MW as part of a plan to produce 5,000 MW of energy by 2030. He indicated that the UAE has also laid the foundation for the first waste-to-energy project and implemented the first carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility in the Middle East and North Africa region.
In recognizing UAE's most stellar environmental achievements, His Excellency highlighted the important role played by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), which has been leading the country's efforts in the development of renewable energy technologies and solutions since its inception in 2006, and has invested about $ 8.5 billion in local and global projects, contributing to the increase of renewable energy capacity by about 2.7 million GW.
The Minister stressed that this global event is taking place at a time when the global climate has been worsening, and extreme weather events have been occurring at a faster and more severe pace than ever before. This year witnessed devastating hurricanes, fires, floods, droughts, ice melting and impacts on agriculture that could hugely threaten food security.
“This conference serves as an ideal platform for strengthening cooperation frameworks that will allow countries to tackle the global challenges of climate change. Considering the current alarming situations, we need to act more swiftly to maintain the momentum created by the historic Paris Agreement if we are to translate its objectives into practical measures. Today, let us together send a positive message from Bonn to the entire world through reaffirming our determination to move forward in shaping the future we aspire to achieve”, Dr. Al Zeyoudi said.
His Excellency Dr. Al Zeyoudi reaffirmed UAE's commitment to the objectives of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Paris Agreement and all relevant international resolutions, as well as the country's determination to continue its voluntary participation in international efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
He called on developed countries to shoulder their responsibilities in addressing the climate change impacts and reducing the consequences of climate change, urged them to fulfil their commitments towards developing countries in order to enable these countries to contribute in achieving the shared common objectives.
Concluding his speech, His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi invited the world countries to participate in the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January 2018 and the World Energy Congress 2019 hosted by the UAE capital Abu Dhabi to continue the global dialogue on the role of energy in sustainable development and to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the World Green Economy Organization (WGEO) in the UAE.