The world must keep moving forward while turning back the clock on carbon emissions, a UAE minister said on Monday.
In his keynote speech for Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change, said the event would aim to answer some of the most pressing questions about sustainability.
“We have seen 50 years of incredible progress. Our founding father, Sheikh Zayed, invested in the wealth and health of a nation,” Dr Al Jaber told an audience that included Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.
“He balanced economic development with environmental responsibility. He believed that sharing makes good nations great and guided the United Arab Emirates to become one of the world’s leading humanitarian donors.
“And in those same 50 years, the world has also been transformed for the better. Yes, the progress made over the past 50 years has been truly unprecedented, but has also posed a fundamental question: how do we keep moving forward while rolling back the clock on shows?
“And how do you make the world richer and healthier at the same time?
“Finding the answers to these questions has been the mission of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and the Zayed Prize for Sustainability.”
Since its inception in 2008, ADSW has become one of the largest platforms, where government leaders, technology pioneers and business leaders come together to share knowledge and strategies on climate action.
This year’s opening ceremony took place at Expo 2020 Dubai, where Dr. Al Jaber delivered the keynote address.
The UAE is a “true pioneer” in clean energy, he said. It started investing in the renewable energy sector more than 15 years ago.
The UAE is home to the largest solar power plants in the world. Through Masdar, a renewable energy company in Abu Dhabi, the Emirates has invested in solar and wind projects in 40 countries around the world.
Dr Al Jaber said the UAE was the first country in the Middle East and North Africa region to announce a “net zero by 2050” strategic initiative.
“The UAE is taking a low-carbon path to a high-growth destination,” he said.
“We want to accelerate progress on this journey as hosts of Cop28 in 2023.
“In our approach to COP28, we will give an equal voice to the developing world and align the public and private sectors, academia, engineers and business, civil society and industry.
“That means the whole industry, including the hydrocarbon industry, because there’s one thing that the history of every energy transition tells us is that they take time, you can’t just press a switch.
“To successfully complete a complex transition to tomorrow’s energy system, we cannot simply disconnect from today’s energy system. We must remain pragmatic while being progressive, hopeful and practical.
“We should look for solutions where the energy expertise exists. Remember that we should aim to retain shows, not progress. »
The United Arab Emirates will host the 28th United Nations global climate talks in 2023, after a decision was made by the body in Glasgow last year to accept the Emirates’ bid to lead the negotiations.
Cop28 will start in the United Arab Emirates on November 6, 2023.
Updated: January 17, 2022, 9:16 a.m.