Thursday, December 10, 2015

Protect future generations from climate change

PARIS -- The United Arab Emirates has delivered its national statement on climate change at the 21st session of the Conference of Parties, COP21, at the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention, UNFCCC, in Paris, France, encouraging nations to protect future generations from the impacts of climate change and stressing the economic and social benefits of climate action.
"This year we have seen an unprecedented display of climate action by countries all around the world, with more than 185 nations submitting climate action plans ahead of COP21," said Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change. "This proves that all countries are taking action to address climate change and the Paris agreement must build on these actions."
During his remarks, Dr. Al Jaber outlined the UAE’s vision for a meaningful climate agreement, saying, "The world needs a flexible system, one which allows all countries to develop climate actions in line with their national priorities and circumstances.
"It should provide the appropriate support to developing countries, including the fulfillment of funding commitments made by developed countries to help nations with limited means to cope with impacts of climate change."
Dr. Al Jaber also highlighted the UAE’s position as a global leader in climate action and reiterated the country’s efforts to diversify its economy through new technologies and partnerships.
"For the UAE, economic and energy diversification is a must to ensure economic and social prosperity in the 21st century," he said, adding, "The UAE’s climate action plan demonstrates that innovative action can drive economic opportunity as well as secure a safer climate."
Examples include Masdar’s 100 MW Shams 1 concentrated solar power plant and the 5000 MW Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park as well as the Middle East’s first commercial-scale carbon capture, use and storage project. The UAE is also making significant investments in renewable energy abroad, such as the 630 MW London Array wind farm, the world’s largest off-shore wind farm, as well as supporting over 30 renewable energy projects in 28 developing countries totaling 840 million US Dollars to date.
Supporting these efforts are two clean energy partnerships the UAE joined during COP 21, including Mission Innovation, a commitment by over 20 countries to double its investments in clean energy research and development within five years, and the International Solar Alliance, a coalition to advance new solar technologies. These announcements reinforce the UAE’s transition to a knowledge-based economy and support the UAE’s goal to raise its national share of clean energy to 24 percent by 2021, from less than one percent today.
The initiatives also underline the UAE’s role as a key global partner in addressing the impacts of climate change, both within and outside of the UNFCCC negotiation process, including hosting of the Abu Dhabi Ascent in support of the UN Climate Summit, a key milestone in the lead up to COP 21.
"The UAE is fully committed to the UNFCCC negotiation process and to an outcome of an agreement that is robust, flexible and inclusive of all parties," said Dr. Al Jaber. "We have played a crucial role in working with the French government, the UNFCCC and other world governments to ensure continued progress in tackling climate change and moving the world forward in the right direction."
Dr. Al Jaber also noted the importance of women's empowerment and the role they play in the UAE’s leadership to address the impacts of climate change and promote sustainable development, both through their achievements in future energy and through their central role in building society.
In his concluding remarks, the UAE Minister of State stressed the importance of political consensus, noting that COP21 will set the stage for turning political agreements into practical solutions. Dr. Al Jaber extended an invitation to the audience to attend Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January 2016, an annual event gathering public and private sector leaders, as a platform to enhance climate action following COP21.

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