Military and Strategic Journal
Issued by the Directorate of Morale Guidance at the General Command of the Armed Forces
United Arab Emirates
Founded in August 1971

2023-11-10

Climate Neutrality: An Ambitious Emirati Strategy

By: Staff Colonel / Yousef Juma Al Haddad
Editor in Chief
 
The Arabian Gulf region is one of the most affected areas by climate change, suffering from rising temperatures and sea levels. Climate change’s impact on the economies and societies of the Gulf countries varies from increasing water costs to higher risk of natural disasters. The UAE knows climate change constitutes a profound environmental crisis that requires global solutions. As a result, it seeks to collaborate with other nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote climate action.
 
In 2021, the UAE announced its strategy to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. This strategy is a national drive towards reducing emissions alongside an ambitious energy strategy that relies on a mix of renewable, nuclear, and clean energy sources to balance economic needs and environmental goals.
 
To succeed in transitioning to climate neutrality, where net greenhouse gas emissions are reduced to zero, emissions must be balanced. In other words, any emissions from fossil fuel combustion should be offset by measures like planting trees that absorb carbon dioxide. 
 
The UAE has many advantages that can help to achieve climate neutrality. It has a strong economy and is working on various initiatives to reach this goal. These initiatives include investing in renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, improving energy efficiency, supporting clean technology development, and enhancing international cooperation on climate action.
 
Clean energy solutions constitute a key element of the UAE’s model for addressing climate change, aiming to balance economic needs and environmental objectives through investments totalling 600 billion dirhams by 2050 to meet energy demand.
 
Through its various institutions, the UAE is committed to implementing initiatives that aim to reduce emissions in line with global best practices by adopting innovative technology and developing sustainable solutions that support the green transition.
 
Transitioning to clean energy is essential for addressing climate change. However, this must also be fair and regulated to balance the benefits of clean energy with no harm to communities reliant on the fossil fuel sector.

In pursuit of this, the UAE is implementing initiatives to achieve this goal, such as investing in training programmes for the workforce in clean energy skills and providing financial support to fossil fuel-dependent communities to adapt to changes caused by the shift to clean energy. The UAE also promotes international cooperation in clean energy to ensure that all nations can benefit from the advantages of clean energy.
 
The UAE has one of the lowest carbon intensities in the world for its oil and gas sector. However, the country continues reducing emissions, placing climate action at the core of its sustainable social and economic growth development strategy. This includes adopting technology, developing sustainable solutions that support the green transition, and producing green hydrogen and synthetic fuels.
 
The UAE’s Barakah peaceful civil nuclear power plants are among the most important projects supporting the transition to clean energy. In addition to the country’s electricity production facilities, these nuclear power plants significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The UAE continues to work on the establishment and development of several waste-to-energy plants.
 
While achieving climate neutrality is an attainable, ambitious goal for the UAE, it can be achieved faster if all nations work together to create a better future for everyone.

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