UAE aims for net-zero by 2050

07 October 2021
The Net Zero 2050 Strategic Initiative will see the UAE invest AED600bn in clean and renewable energy sources across the next three decades

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The UAE has announced that it is targeting net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2050.

In a tweet, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, announced that AED600bn would be invested in developing clean and renewable energy sources in the next three decades.

In December 2020, the UAE's second nationally determined contribution (NDC) pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 23.5 per cent, equivalent to 70 million tonnes, by 2030.

According to the UAE's Energy Plan for 2050, launched in 2017, the country aims to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix from 25 per cent to 50 per cent by 2050 (44 per cent from renewables and 6 per cent from nuclear). It also aims to reduce the carbon footprint of power generation activities by 70 per cent by the end of 2050, resulting in total savings of AED700bn ($192bn).

Commenting on the UAE's ambitious energy goal, Awaidha Murshed al-Marar, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, said: “The UAE net-zero announcement creates momentum for us ahead of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow next month and cements our state’s position as a major contributor to the global effort to reduce the impacts of climate change.

"We embrace our role in fast-tracking a green transition that capitalises on economic growth and environmental protection and will continue to leverage our resources and initiatives to provide sustainable energy and water solutions that benefit our emirate, our nation and the world we live in,” Al-Marar said.

“Over more than a decade, Abu Dhabi has achieved remarkable results in deploying clean energy and implementing energy efficiency measures – two fundamental components of our energy transition and key to achieving national climate mitigation and sustainable development goals.

"For instance, with our solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, including the flagship 1,177MW Noor Abu Dhabi and the 2GW Al-Dhafra single-site solar PV plant, as well as the Barakah peaceful nuclear power plant, we expect the emirate’s electricity in 2025 to be almost 7 per cent from solar and 47 per cent from nuclear. This means, in just five years, Abu Dhabi will be producing almost 55 per cent of its electricity from clean sources, halving the CO2 emissions associated with the power sector. 

“Moreover, the Abu Dhabi Demand Side Management and Energy Efficiency Strategy is already in action and anticipated to reduce the emirate’s electricity consumption by 22 per cent and water consumption by 32 per cent by 2030, avoiding the emission of more than 9 million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere."

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