Climate: The United Arab Emirates commit to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050

Posted Oct 8, 2021 5:38pmUpdated October 8, 2021 at 5:39 p.m

A petrostate that commits to carbon neutrality is not trivial. Three weeks before COP 26, the United Arab Emirates on Thursday announced “a national initiative to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050,” boasting of being “the first nation in the Middle East and North to achieve it.” “.

How will the country, whose GDP depends for 30% on its oil and gas production, achieve carbon neutrality, i.e. a balance between CO2 emissions and CO2 absorption from the atmosphere? Abu Dhabi is currently providing very few details.

“Stakeholders from key sectors such as energy, business, industry, infrastructure, transport, waste, agriculture and environment will update relevant plans, strategies and policies […] “, sums up the press release from the rich Gulf state published on the occasion of the Dubai World Expo.

“It’s a Transition”

However, he emphasizes the projects in the field of renewable energy, in particular solar energy, “the cheapest in the world” that have been launched “for more than 15 years”. Forty billion dollars [près de 35 milliards d’euros] have been invested in renewable energy, and more than Dhs 600 billion [un peu plus de 140 milliards d’euros] will be by 2050, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said in a statement.

Oil and gas, which make the country rich, will continue to be extracted and exported, but the process will be “cleaner”. Production will continue “as long as necessary,” said UAE Minister for Climate Change and Environment Mariam Almheiri in an interview with CNN. “We can’t just turn off the faucet. It’s a transition. »

But the goal displayed by the Emirates has the merit of signaling an era change and perhaps initiating a movement in the Gulf by urging Saudi Arabia and Iraq to do the same. “We hope so,” said the Emirates minister with satisfaction.

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