ABU DHABI: The UAE Regional Dialogue for Climate Action concluded on Sunday with climate leaders from across the Middle East and North Africa region vowing to accelerate progress on climate targets.
The participants affirmed a commitment to ensuring the success of the Paris Agreement, and build on the momentum ahead of US President Joe Biden’s Leaders’ Summit on Climate, which will be hosted by Washington this month, and the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland in November.
The presidency of COP26, which is held by the UK, welcomed the group statement by the delegates at the UAE meeting, along with progress on climate action in the region. It also reiterated a call for the submission of enhanced nationally determined contributions, which detail the efforts by nations to tackle climate change, and net-zero commitments ahead of the conference.
The regional meeting on Sunday provided a constructive platform for participating countries to collaborate on responses to climate change and enhance global climate ambitions. Another aim was to enable climate leaders in the region to discuss ways in which they can initiate a new low-carbon development path and enhance cooperation with the international community to transform climate challenges into economic opportunities.
“Accelerating climate action is both necessary and a huge opportunity,” said Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, the UAE’s special envoy for climate change and minister of industry and advanced technology.
The region has enormous potential to contribute to tackling the global challenges of climate change, he added, and by working together “we can maximize our contribution, leverage the latest technologies and focus smart investment to ensure truly sustainable development that facilitates economic growth.”
The delegates committed to reducing emission levels by 2030, working collectively to help the region adapt to the serious effects of climate change, and collaborating on mobilizing investment in a new energy economy.
Guests at the meeting included high-level dignitaries including US Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry, COP26 President Alok Sharma, ministers from countries in the region, and representatives of the International Renewable Energy Agency.
The event covered a number of core issues such as: stepping up the deployment of renewable energy; exploring the potential of new zero-carbon energy sources; maximizing the effect of mitigation technologies, including investments in innovative new and emerging solutions as well as carbon capture; and reducing the carbon-emission intensity of hydrocarbon fuels.
“There are huge investment opportunities, in the transition to renewable energy, to grow our economies, create jobs and reduce the risk of climate disaster,” said Sharma.
Saudi Arabia, Pakistan to sign climate deal