DUBAI, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, has called on legislators worldwide to fast-track and increase their countries' adoption of renewable solutions.

Addressing the 2019 Legislators Forum, held today ahead of the ninth session of the Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, which will run from 11th-13th January in Abu Dhabi, Dr. Al Zeyoudi said, "As legislators, you can play a significant role in supporting the advancement of renewable energy technologies and fast-tracking their deployment through contributing to the development of policy frameworks and institutional capacity, as well as encouraging public-private partnerships."

In his address, the minister noted that renewable energy has been witnessing remarkable growth, outperforming conventional energy sources in recent years.

"IRENA's latest statistics show that the renewable energy generation worldwide increased by 6.7 percent in 2016. Much of the new capacity now comes from renewable energy, which is an important step in meeting our climate objectives under the Paris Agreement and in realising sustainable development," he added.

Dr. Al Zeyoudi continued, "The UN Sustainable Development Goal on Energy - SDG 7 - calls for universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy by 2030. Achieving SDG 7 requires greater policy commitment and increased funding, as well as a willingness to embrace new technologies and innovation on a much wider scale."

Speaking on the UAE's commitment to advancing clean energy adoption, he noted, "Here in the UAE, we are strongly committed to transforming our economy into a low-carbon green economy in line with the objectives of the UAE Green Agenda 2030 and the National Climate Change Plan 2050.

Furthermore, the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 launched in 2017, targets an energy mix of 44 percent renewable energy, 38 percent gas, 12 percent clean coal, and 6 percent nuclear by 2050, significantly reducing the country's carbon footprint from power generation by 70 percent, and cutting down residential energy consumption by 40 percent. To meet these ambitious targets, the country aims to invest as much as US$163 billion by 2050."

"We are sending a clear message to potential investors regarding the importance of their engagement in the low-carbon development path as our partners in achieving the goals of the Green Agenda. The opportunities that arise from green growth make sound business sense. The US$27 billion Dubai Green Fund offers loans to companies in the clean energy segment that will further accelerate green projects. As many as 32 leading UAE financial firms have also signed the Dubai Declaration on Sustainable Finance, reinforcing their commitment to supporting the UAE's transition to a climate-resilient, green economy."

Elaborating on the UAE's contribution to renewable energy deployment beyond its borders, he said, "In order to bridge the energy access gap, the UAE has been financing renewable energy projects in Africa and elsewhere through the US$350 million IRENA/ADFD Project Facility. Since 2014, 21 renewable energy projects have been selected for funding in 20 different countries, including solar PV, geothermal and small-scale hydropower projects."

The UAE, he said, has also supported Pacific and Caribbean island countries through the US$50 million UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund as well as the US$50 million UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund. These funds have created multiple benefits and helped countries increase energy security, access to education and healthcare, and new jobs, while reducing harmful emissions.

The 2019 IRENA Legislators Forum focused on the overall theme of parliamentary actions to accelerate the energy transformation in realising SDG 7 as outlined in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Source: Emirates News Agency