GENEVA - Prof. Jukka Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organisation, said that the the UAE economy is less than 20% dependent on fossil fuels, making it the finest model in the Gulf region.
Speaking to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), the international official emphasised that this move away from relying on energy produced from fossil fuels is well thought of when discussing the success of minimising the effects of climate change because “nations should start replacing fossil fuel energy sources with climate-friendly ones, as the UAE has done.”
“The World Economic Forum re-affirmed that climate change is a serious economic issue and that there are significant threats to the world economy if we don't take action to mitigate or adapt to climate change during the next ten years,” he added while commenting on UAAE's hosting of COP28 later this year.
“The World Meteorological Organisation recorded a significant increase in ocean warming rates, in addition to an acceleration in snow melting, and sea level rise doubled during the last twenty years. Additionally, the world has started to witness a significant increase in climate disasters such as heat waves in Europe, Asia, and the United States, the floods inundating Pakistan and the tropical cyclones in previously unseen locations such as southeast Africa.,” he added while commenting on the annual report produced by his organisation.
“The organisation has identified increasingly significant issues regarding water scarcityو drought, and forest fires, all of which are extremely detrimental to human life. However, the usage of electric vehicles, reasonably priced batteries for them, and other tactics, are now part of a clearer picture that is being formulated on how to deal with this challenge,” he continued.
He added that the world has already begun to move toward a solution, but it is not moving quickly enough in terms of limiting global warming, preserving an average temperature of 1.5 degrees Celsius against 2 or 2.3 degrees. “Greater issues and challenges would arise if the world did not move swiftly to achieve this aim," he cautioned.
Regarding the hosting of COP28 by the UAE, the secretary-general of the international organisation expressed his pleasure at making two trips to Abu Dhabi this year and meeting with Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, COP28 President-Designate, with whom, he said, a number of fruitful meetings were held.
“The World Meteorological Organization is extremely pleased with the United Arab Emirates' actions, including their decision to increase investment in clean energy and other projects that support the organisation's strategy for addressing climate change issues, as well as their decision to host the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which is a key player in this field,” he added.