Climate Action in the MENA Region | Regional Dialogue in UAE

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@ Nick Fewings

|Securing the success of the Paris Agreement

High representatives of the countries United Arab Emirates, United States, Kuwait, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Iraq, Jordan, Sudan and Oman gathered in Abu Dhabi under the auspices of the United Arab Emirates and expressed their committment to accelerate climate action and issued the following statement: “We will work together to ensure the success of the Paris Agreement and will cooperate with our global partners to strengthen climate ambition. We urge the international community to take steps to keep a Paris-aligned temperature limit within reach, including through enhanced nationally determined contributions.

In this critical decade for climate action, the group of countries believe that investments in renewable energy, ecosystem-based approaches, nature-based solutions, climate-smart agriculture, carbon capture technologies, and other low-carbon solutions will support sustainable economic growth and job creation. They also recognize the importance of adaptation and the co-benefits of building resilience to climate change.

| Reducing emisisons by 2030

The countries also stated: “We are committed to reducing emissions by 2030 and beyond, to working collectively to help the region adapt to the serious impacts of climate change, to collaborating on mobilizing investment in a new energy economy, and to pursuing our respective efforts in mobilizing climate finance.

We also resolve to work together and with other countries to help the world’s most vulnerable cope with the devastating consequences of climate change.

We are encouraged by the conversations we held, hosted by the UAE, which we believe will usher in a new era of regional cooperation for a prosperous and sustainable future based on ambitious climate policy, investment, and innovation.”

United States working with the United Arab Emirates 

The Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, visiting the UAE expressed the United State’s committment: “The United States and the United Arab Emirates are committed to working together to take on the climate challenge. We believe decisive action can be an engine for economic growth and sustainable development. We will work to strengthen the implementation of the Paris Agreement and promote the success of COP26 in Glasgow. Mindful of the importance and urgency of raising global climate ambition, we each intend to take steps to decarbonize our economies in line with our national circumstances and economic development plans, including reducing our emissions by 2030.”

John Kerry also informed about further cooperation in the MENA region: “We will also cooperate closely to make new investments in financing decarbonization across both the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and the wider international community and help the most vulnerable adapt to the inevitable effects of climate change. In this regard, we are encouraged by new regional initiatives, such as the Green Middle East initiative by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We will particularly focus our joint efforts on renewable energy, hydrogen, industrial decarbonization, carbon capture and storage, nature-based solutions, and low-carbon urban design – exemplified by model cities like Masdar City, and the world’s largest single-site solar facility in Noor in Abu Dhabi. We take note of opportunities in the UAE, such as the world’s lowest solar power costs, and significant carbon capture investments.”

Private investment in transformative mitigation and adaption technologies

John Kerry continued: “We will partner with the global community to take the necessary steps to keep a Paris-aligned temperature limit within reach, including through country-specific enhancements to nationally determined contributions. We recognize the strong climate efforts of many leading companies and will work closely with the private sector to mobilize the investment and transformative mitigation and adaptation technologies needed to stem the climate crisis and support the economy.

We are encouraged by the conversations we held in Abu Dhabi with other countries in the region, which we believe inaugurated a new era of cooperation in the region for a future focused on prosperity through climate policy, investment, innovation, and sustainable economic growth.”