UAE - Dubai has invested up to Dh40 billion in the renewable energy sector as it is the future and the emirate will invest another Dh40 billion to generate clean energy in coming years, says a senior official.

Ahmed Buti Al Muhairbi, Secretary-General of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, engaged in a fireside chat on Dubai’s net zero strategy during the second day of the World Green Economy Summit, which witnessed several panel discussions primarily focused on achieving net-zero and motivating youth to actively participate in climate action.

"The hydrocarbon and gas sector will continue to play an important role. The key factor that will ensure effective clean energy security and supply, is a transition from conventional sources of energy to renewables," Al Muhairbi said.

Al Muhairbi addressed the first session titled ‘Dubai’s Carbon Abatement Strategy & Net-Zero Goal’. Taher Diab, director of Strategy and Planning at the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy gave a presentation on Dubai’s net zero strategy. John Defterios, Professor of Business, NYU Abu Dhabi & World Economic Forum Energy Fellow, moderated the session.

The summit was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. It is organised by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), the World Green Economy Organization (WGEO), and the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, in collaboration with various global organisations.

Al Muhairbi also highlighted the success in the private sector and spoke about the council’s participation through public-private partnership. He shed light on the IPP projects, with almost 5,000 projects to date.

The next session was a fireside chat with Noor Alkhulaif, Minister of Sustainable Development, Bahrain, on the sustainable development goals (SDGs), moderated by Defterios.

Alkhulaif focused on the work that has been undertaken in Bahrain to achieve the goal of a clean future. She said there were many measures to be taken and Bahrain has ensured integrated steps and collaboration between different ministries. She emphasised that the nation considers all sustainable development goals within its governments and ministries’ framework and actions plan to ensure a combined approach.

A town hall debate titled ‘How youth activism is moving the needle on climate change’ was held in which speakers highlighted the importance of youth participation in tackling sustainability issues. Omnia El Omrani, President Youth Envoy, COP 27; Nisreen Elsaim, Chair of UN Secretary General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change; Aysha Mohammad AlRemeithi, Youth Council President & Deputy Manager, Innovation Ecosystem – Solar Innovation Centre, Dewa; and Ahmed Alrebati, Senior Environment Engineer – Projects & Studies, ENOC were the key speakers at the panel.

Omrani stressed that the initiatives implemented by the WGEO are crucial for advocating youth engagement in a meaningful way. She explained that solid structures where the youth can actively participate and express their opinions is necessary to accelerate the transition to a green economy.

During the summit, the landmark UAE-UK Clean Hydrogen Study (in conjunction with WGEO) was also launched.

Waleed Ali bin Salman, EVP - Business Development & Excellence, Dewa, gave the keynote speech during this launch. Cornelius Matthes, CEO of Dii Desert Energy, Abdulrahim Sultan, Director of WGEO and Jeffrey Beyer, MD of Zest Associates, were the main speakers in the session. The discussion was moderated by Sabrin Rahman, MD, Head of Sustainability for Europe and the Middle East, HSBC.

The panel discussion on ‘Building Back Better with Youth Involvement’ in which the youth interacted with the private sector was held. During the session, delegates from the private sector highlighted their initiatives to boost youth engagement in achieving net-zero ambitions, while the youth engaged in the efforts in climate action also gave their insights.

Sara Al Ameri, Council Member, Arab Youth Council for Climate Change, talked about the ways to boost the youth’s role in climate action. She highlighted that the youth should be actively included in the efforts by governmental and non-governmental organisations and assist them in being a voice that advocates the need for sustainable practices around the world.

She emphasised that the youth could voice their opinions on climate change through various channels like social media, and they can look for opportunities to actively get involved in the global efforts in climate action.

Following these panel discussions and other activities, another panel was held titled ‘Why the global stocktake (GST) of Paris Agreement matters?’ It focused on transitioning from pledges to implementation and from dialogue to action.

The panel highlighted the importance of the UAE hosting the COP 28 summit, which will account for the much-anticipated stocktake that will measure the current progress and the remaining journey towards fulfilling the Paris Agreement.

The panel discussion on ‘Hydrogen: Fuel of the Future’ showcased regional expertise and research and development projects.

In the panel discussion titled ‘Investment in climate adaption, investment in growth and resilience’, speakers discussed the need for balanced economic growth in the short term, while progressing efforts in achieving climate goals to attain sustainable long-term growth.

As part of the youth circles organised at the Summit each year, a panel titled ‘Youth action towards achieving net-zero’ was held by the Dewa Youth Council in conjunction with the Federal Youth Authority, which focused on the role of youth in achieving sustainable development.

Another important panel discussed the net zero implementation case studies, which highlighted the crucial role of the private sector in accelerating the energy transition agenda.

Ali Al Jarwan, CEO of Dragon Oil, discussed how to achieve zero carbon emission and ensure a transition to clean energy, where he said that the journey till 2050 is a long one, and the UAE has developed at a tremendous rate in the clean energy sector.

He emphasised that the energy required to run factories and other mechanisms should be uninterrupted while being responsible for gas emissions and finding avenues to ensure zero emissions, along with maintaining the cleanliness of oceans and seas with proactive measures in pipelines to prevent leakage.

The final panel discussion titled ‘Understanding the role of green bonds in accelerating sustainability’ highlighted the significance of green bonds in tackling the adverse effects of climate change. The panel addressed the challenges, opportunities and barriers in the fight against climate change.

Copyright © 2022 Khaleej Times. All Rights Reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (