MARRAKESH, 22nd November 2016 (WAM) – A delegation from UAE’s public and private sectors is attending the 22nd Session of the Conference of Parties (COP 22) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), running from November 7-18, 2016 in Marrakech, Morocco. With over 100 representatives from government, business, academia, and 30 students, showcasing the country’s ambitious climate actions, the UAE joins more than 190 nations to discuss practical solutions to climate change issues and begin preparations to implement the Paris Agreement.

The UAE delegation to COP22 includes high level officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, National Centre of Meteorology & Seismology, General Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Dubai Carbon, Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, Masdar- Abu Dhabi’s initiative for renewable energy, and Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.

Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “The UAE is a big believer in engaging civil society and the businesses to find durable and meaningful solutions to climate change. We greatly look forward to sharing our successful domestic experiences in Marrakech. This year, parties to the UNFCCC are meeting in Marrakesh to continue working on enabling the implementation of the Paris Agreement, which started in the intercessional meetings in June 2016 in Bonn. Owing to the unprecedented speed at which the Agreement was ratified by a large number of countries, it came into effect on 4 November.”

The Minister elaborated: “The UAE is well-positioned to participate in related decision making – ranging from review processes for countries’ climate action and capacity building, to technology development and transfer, and also to financing.”

The UAE is playing its part in tackling climate change, with effective policies and initiatives that aim to diversify the economy into new, knowledge-based industries. It has led the region in deploying clean energy, with pioneering projects and policies in renewable and nuclear energy, energy and water efficiency, and carbon sequestration. The UAE was also the first in the region to set a clean energy target – of 27% by 2021. In addition, it has also deployed energy-saving infrastructure – from strict green building codes to world-class light rail and metro systems.

The country has long invested in human capital for future industries and world-class innovation centers, such as the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. Over the next five years, it will double its investment in clean energy research and development. The UAE is also supporting international action, through renewable energy aid and investments in a number of international commercial renewable energy projects. In addition, the country is the proud host of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

When it comes to mobilizing resources to fund green projects, the UAE is promoting sustainable finance and is hosting the 14th Global Roundtable of the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative (October 25-26, 2016) to build capacity within the country and to contribute to the global discussions. The UAE is also a member of the International Partnership for Blue Carbon, which aims to accelerate conservation and research on coastal blue carbon ecosystems, such as mangroves and sea grasses that play an important role in mitigating climate change by sequestering and storing carbon.

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment also organized and delivered a training workshop in collaboration with the Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA) on UN climate change negotiations and COP 22. The workshop aimed to provide an induction into the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and drew the participation of the UAE delegates and stakeholders, including student delegates from the UAE universities that are attending the conference.

The workshop addressed the learning needs of the UAE’s stakeholders who are involved in the preparation, implementation and evaluation of climate change negotiations, with particular emphasis on COP 22.

The Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), the nation’s international relations and diplomacy academic, training, best-practice and research institution, focuses increasingly on ensuring that the country’s brightest young minds are ready to play their part in delivering concrete action on climate change and securing the UAE’s leadership in the field regionally and globally, which EDA considers a defining element of 21st century diplomacy and a new front in international co-operation, security and innovation.

WAM/bashir