The United Arab Emirates faces a multitude of climate concerns, including rising sea levels, limited freshwater resources, rising temperatures, extreme weather and desertification, and unsustainable energy consumption and urbanization. While these challenges are not unique to the region, the UAE has been at the forefront of initiatives and policies aimed at adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change. The UAE was the first country in the region to sign the Paris Agreement, and, in 2016, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment was established to promote legislation and other strategies to address climate change. More recently, the UAE adopted the National Climate Change Plan, with ambitious goals aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions and increasing climate adaptation capabilities. The UAE also hosts the International Renewable Energy Agency and some of the world’s largest solar power plants and carbon capture systems.
AGSIW hosted H.E. Aisha Al Abdooli, acting assistant undersecretary for green development and climate change for the UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment to discuss the UAE’s climate-related initiatives and multilateral collaborative efforts across the energy, environment, and economic development fields, the recent U.S. climate summit, and expectations for the 26th U.N. Climate Change Conference of the Parties, COP 26, in Glasgow in November.