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Minister of Climate Change and Environment Highlights UAE’s Role as Global Clean Energy Champion as Part of Be Bold Campaign

His Excellency Dr Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, discussed ways of raising ambition on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7: Affordable and Clean Energy with Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) and Co-Chair of UN-Energy.

The UAE is one of the 25 Global Theme Champions for the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy (HLDE), a summit-level meeting convened by the UN Secretary-General, set to take place in September 2021. The dialogue was part of Bold Conversations, a series of interviews with the Global Theme Champions under the Be Bold global call-to-action campaign (#SDG7BeBold). Launched by SEforALL, the one-year campaign aims to increase awareness and drive action on SDG 7.

His Excellency Dr Al Nuaimi said: “SDG 7 comes with its own challenges. We still have too many people without any access to energy at all, not speaking about clean energy.”

He added: “We realize that the energy transition has implications on economies’ structures, investments, jobs, and required skills. It’s critical to keep these issues at the forefront, and work towards a just and equitable energy transition. Everyone should play a part in the transition to clean energy. The solutions we develop must be inclusive, and engage women, youth, and other vulnerable groups to help provide affordable energy for all.”

The Minister highlighted the UAE’s pioneering role in the deployment of clean energy solutions at home and abroad, including supporting renewables projects in developing countries and expediting the global shift to renewable energy through repeatedly breaking world records for the lowest levelized cost of electricity. He also reaffirmed the country’s support for the SDGs.

His Excellency Dr Al Nuaimi commended the private sector for being a partner in action in achieving the ultimate goal of carbon neutrality through cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions across the value chain.

He said: “The private sector also has the potential to make a significant contribution towards our ultimate goal of reaching carbon neutrality through reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the value chain. Prime examples that fill us with hope are Etihad Airways that pledged to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 as the first airline in the GCC region and one of the first in the industry to set a target of this scale, and Majid Al Futtaim Holding that has announced a long-term goal to produce more energy and water than it consumes, reaching a Net Positive business model by 2040.”

Furthermore, he provided an overview of the UAE’s efforts to address the critical water-energy-food nexus and reduce the carbon footprint of the agricultural sector.

In closing, the Minister explained how the country reconciles its status as a major hydrocarbon producer with spearheading the clean energy transition with a focus on decarbonizing the oil and gas industry.

SEforALL is an international organization that works in partnership with the UN and leaders in government, the private sector, financial institutions, civil society, and philanthropy to accelerate the implementation of SDG 7.


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