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UAE Climate Tech forum calls for supercharging climate finance, policies, and breakthroughs in tech

Panelists of the session, The Commercial Case for Decarbonization at the UAE Climate Tech Forum.

It is time to supercharge climate finance, formulate smart policies, and encourage breakthroughs in new energy -- this was the resounding message that emerged from the ongoing UAE Climate Tech forum being held in Abu Dhabi.

The UAE Climate Tech forum which will go on till Wednesday, May 11, is a first-of-its-kind dialogue organized by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT), UAE, in partnership with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar).

"COP28 will mark the first global stock-take.. and this is where climate progress will be measured since the Paris Agreement. The science is already telling us that we are way off track. The latest IPCC report has confirmed that the world must reduce emissions 43% by 2030.. and that's if we are serious about keeping the ambition of 1.5 alive," emphasized the Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and UAE and Special Envoy for Climate Group, H. E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber speaking at the UAE Climate Tech Forum.

"If we are going to maintain economic progress, while dramatically reducing emissions, we need nothing short of a major course correction."

Speaking of the progress made by solar energy installation in the region, H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, who is also Group MD & CEO of ADNOC and Chairman of Masdar and COP28 President-Designate, called for tripling of global renewable energy capacity to 11,000 GW by 2030.

Held ahead of the 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), UAE Climate Tech aims to highlight the UAE's efforts in technology adoption and developments that will enable faster decarbonization through sectors like renewables, hydrogen, climate-smart agriculture, and STEM education.

He added that along with renewable energy, hydrogen can play a big role in reducing emissions, especially in the cement, steel, and aluminum plants -- the carbon emission from which make up more than 30% of global carbon emissions. But for these solutions to have real impact on the energy systems, they will have to be scaled up and commercialized. H.E further noted that carbon capture technologies would also be critical for curbing emissions from heavy emitting industries in the race to net zero.

"Cost remains the main barrier and we need policy makers to incentivize technology companies to help commercialize all kinds of carbon capture, from storage to direct air to mineralization," he added.

H.E. emphasized on the need to nurture tech companies and their ideas with smart policies and galvanizing capital in them and taking those ideas to scale.

"While doing all of this, we need to keep pushing for breakthroughs in battery storage, expand nuclear and invest in new energies like fusion."

H.E. in his keynote also urged to reduce the global reliance on hydrocarbons. He called on the oil and gas industry to zero out methane emissions by 2030 and to shape comprehensive net zero plans by or before 2050.

In conclusion of his keynote address, H.E. said: "We need policy makers to help put the right policies, regulations and incentives in place. We need an enabling environment that connects academia, R&D, innovation, entrepreneurship and technology companies in a unified ecosystem. And we need the industry to be open to creating new partnerships across different sectors and to take new ideas to scale. Let's use the next two days to break down siloed thinking and build up an integrated creative partnership."

Over 1,000 global policymakers, industry leaders, experts, academics, technology leaders, and investors are said to have gathered at the forum to exchange ideas and collaborate on new energy innovations and explore investment opportunities in accelerating decarbonization across all sectors. 

As UAE delivers on its Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, the ministry is devising strategies that will encourage companies to enhance production methods to incorporate decarbonization and incentivize the creation of new businesses that prioritize decarbonization. The ministry's initiatives and partnerships in this area include the Technology Transformation Program, Industrial Technology Transformation Index (ITTI), green financing in partnership with Emirates Development Bank, the Industrial Sustainability Alliance, and increasing awareness of green regulations and standards.

Author : Shraddha Kakade
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