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UAE actively participates at UN Climate Change conference in Warsaw

posted on 24/11/2013: 2190 views

Warsaw: A delegation from the United Arab Emirates, headed by Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change, participated in the Conference of Parties (COP) 19 meeting on climate change, held in Warsaw, Poland.

Dr. Al Jaber reinforced the UAE's commitment to effectively address climate change when meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. They also discussed the future of international climate policy and new avenues of collaboration between the UAE and UN focused on on-going and pressing world challenges.

COP19 is this year's annual meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It is the first meeting in a process to develop a new legally binding climate agreement by 2015.

The UAE delegation's participation was underscored by Dr. Al Jaber's address during the COP Plenary's High Level session, which highlighted the UAE's various tangible achievements towards climate change mitigation and stressed the importance of an effective international response.

"The United Arab Emirates is committed to addressing climate change from an economic, social and environmental point of view," said Dr. Al Jaber. "Our growing experience includes implementing commercial clean energy projects, making investments into clean technologies, and also expanding our development assistance by making clean energy accessible to all.

"As a global community, we are responsible for taking the necessary steps to achieve sustainable economic growth while safeguarding our environment. Achieving this will require capitalising on immediate opportunities available through the UNFCCC process such as, swiftly enacting the Green Climate Fund to channel finance to developing countries, and ensuring the effective operation of the new climate technology mechanism to enable technology development and exchange," added Dr. Al Jaber.

In recent years, the UAE has rapidly emerged as a leading investor in clean energy technologies. In 2013 alone the UAE successfully inaugurated a number of projects including: Shams 1, the 100 MW solar plant in Abu Dhabi; the 13 MW solar plant in Dubai; and the 630MW London Array offshore wind farm in the United Kingdom.

While the UAE is investing in new sources of energy that are contributing to curbing greenhouse gas emissions, it is also proactively decarbonising its economy through the application of cutting edge carbon capture technology. Earlier this month the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Masdar launched the Middle East's first carbon capture use and storage (CCS) project in Abu Dhabi. The region's pioneering CCS project will capture 800,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year from a steel manufacturing facility for enhanced oil recovery in ADNOC's oil fields prior to storing the carbon dioxide permanently underground.

The UAE has also championed international collaboration; bringing the world leaders, businesses and academics together on clean energy and sustainable development through the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW). ADSW and its participating events the World Future Energy Summit, the International Water Summit, the Zayed Future Energy Prize and EcoWaste help catalyse innovative solutions to our energy, water and sustainability challenges.

Dr. Al Jaber also met Ministers where he stressed the importance of cooperation on clean energy adoption and climate change mitigation. Meetings held included the United States of America Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change; Singapore's Minister of Environment; Morocco's Minister of Environment; and the President of the 68th session of United Nations General Assembly, whereupon Dr. Al Jaber discussed ways in which the UAE can enhance its leadership role in fostering action on sustainable development at the United Nations.

The 2012 COP18 meeting in Doha, Qatar, brought to an end a 5 year negotiating process that defined global climate policy until 2020. The framework agreed includes the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol, which sets legally binding targets for certain developed countries. It also includes a voluntary framework for recognising actions taken by developing countries, as well as new mechanisms to provide financing and support the transfer of clean technologies.

Following the outcomes in Doha, COP19 focused attention on policies and guidelines post 2020. Governments have agreed to a new legal framework agreement by 2015 that will be "applicable to all" and seek to raise ambition from developed and developing countries. Warsaw represented the first of three COP meetings to focus on developing this agreement.

During the conference, progress was achieved on implementing existing commitments, such as making the new finance mechanism operational, enhancing action on impacts from response measures, and setting up the technology transfer mechanism.

These outcomes will be built on in further negotiations in Peru (2014) and France (2015).

The United Arab Emirates was an active participant in the climate negotiations, and was represented in Warsaw by a delegation led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with representatives of the Ministry of Energy, Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology, the Zayed International Prize for the Environment, Dubai FDI, and the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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