The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become the first of the Persian Gulf’s petrostates to commit to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, said the net zero initiative will boost the country’s efforts to accelerate the energy transition while contributing to the fight against climate change.
The UAE relies heavily on oil and gas exports, which make up around 30% of its GDP and has one of the highest emissions rates per capital in the world.
The country’s electricity generation in 2025 is expected to include around 7% of solar power and 47% of nuclear energy, halving emissions associated with the power sector.
In addition, the Abu Dhabi Demand Side Management and Energy Efficiency Strategy is anticipated to reduce the UAE’s electricity consumption by 22% and water usage by 32% by 2030, helping avoid the emissions of more than nine million tons.
The chairman added: “The announcement of the UAE net zero by 2050 strategic initiative is a significant milestone that reflects long term dedication to sustainable economic development and to the tenets of the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
“As the world shifts to cleaner sources of energy and a decarbonized economy, the UAE net zero initiative will provide us with precision and boost our efforts to accelerate the energy transition while contributing to the fight against climate change.”
The announcement comes ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, next month.
COP26 President Alok Sharma welcomed UAE’s news as a “historic announcement”.
I am delighted that the UAE 🇦🇪has announced it will reach net zero carbon by 2050
As the first net zero carbon commitment in the Gulf, this is an historic announcement
I look to others in the region to also announce ambitious climate action commitments ahead of #COP26
— Alok Sharma (@AlokSharma_RDG) October 7, 2021
He tweeted: “I am delighted that the UAE has announced it will reach net zero carbon by 2050.
“As the first net zero carbon commitment in the Gulf, this is an historic announcement.
“I look to others in the region to also announce ambitious climate action commitments ahead of #COP26.”