Monthly Archives: June 2019

Climate change knows no borders, and neither should we, says Thani Al Zeyoudi

ABU DHABI, The Abu Dhabi Climate Meeting opened today in the presence of H.H. Lt. Gen. Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior. The event has drawn the participation of more than 2,000 delegates from around the world.

Distinguished guests include Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General; Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation, WHO; Sheikh Dr. Basel bin Hamoud Al-Sabah, Minister of Health of Kuwait; Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, UAE Minister of Infrastructure Development; Abdulrahman bin Mohamed Al Owais, UAE Minister of Health and Prevention and Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs; Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development; and Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, UAE Minister of State for Youth Affairs.

Serving as the precursor to the UN Climate Action Summit in New York that will take place in September 2019, the meeting commenced with regional and international experts stating the case for multilateral action as the only way humanity will overcome climate change � the greatest threat facing the world at present. As the speakers took the stage in the UAE capital, the consensus was: Either we act now, together, or we fail to preserve our planet.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said, “This meeting is the point at which the public and private sectors, ministers, and the UN leadership can once again raise our level of ambition. We must leave Abu Dhabi with a set of winning outcomes that inspire people around the globe. But I also believe we have a clear opportunity to embark on a new era of economic growth, spurred by global collaborative investment in climate action. For so long, climate action has been seen as a challenge. We should be positive and consider the opportunities that lie ahead. Remember, climate change knows no borders, and neither should we.”

“2019 is the year to focus on the economic opportunities of climate action, to show that climate action will create jobs and new industries, and to improve the health of our most vulnerable people,” he added.

Dr. Al Zeyoudi announced a commitment to a new 2GW solar project in Al Dhafra region in Abu Dhabi that will eclipse the record-breaking 1GW Noor Abu Dhabi Plant.

Following Dr. Al Zeyoudi’s address, Guterres stated, “I thank the UAE for hosting this important meeting. We are here today because the world is facing a great climate emergency. Climate change is happening now, and it is progressing faster than we predicted. Only last week, we saw reports that the Himalayan glaciers are melting at double the rate since the turn of the century. The situation will only get worse unless we act now with ambition and urgency.”

He added, “My message today is clear and simple: We are in the battle for our lives, but it is a battle we can win. Solar power has become the cheapest source of energy. More cities and businesses are beginning to understand that climate solutions can protect our world while strengthening our economies. Youth are making their voices heard.”

The Abu Dhabi Climate Meeting aims to review and finalise the initiatives, commitments, and achievements that will be announced at the upcoming UN Climate Action Summit, as well as to examine key opportunities and challenges related to global climate action.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Public health issues help raise awareness about Climate Change: WHO official

ABU DHABI, Increasing number of fatal diseases such as heart attacks and strokes caused by air pollution should be an eye-opener for common people to act against climate change, according to a senior official of the World Health Organisation, WHO.

Such public health issues caused by climate change have to be used effectively to raise awareness about the need to check rising carbon emissions, Dr. Maria Neira, Director of the Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health at the WHO, told the Emirates News Agency, WAM, on Sunday.

People may consider many other impacts of climate change, such as the melting of glaciers and rising sea levels, as distant phenomena that do not impact their lives, she said in an interview on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Climate Meeting.

However, the fact that air pollution causes the premature death of around 7 million people every year will be an eyeopener to common people about the impact of climate change on their lives, she said.

Dr. Neira was referring to a WHO finding that revealed that exposure to fine particles in polluted air led to heart disease, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and respiratory infections, including pneumonia, causing premature deaths across the world.

“When people come to know that air pollution can cause stroke and heart attack, they will act against climate change,” she said.

Public awareness is key to building pressure on political leaders to formulate policies and action plans against climate change, Dr Neira said.

An individual can do many things in their life against climate change, she explained. Using nonpolluting transportation modes, such as walking and biking, is one option. Likewise, doing daily exercise and keeping a healthy diet are also important.

“However, one’s living environment also plays a major role. If your city does not have a place for exercise or walk and the market does not offer low-calorie food, what can you do?”

Therefore, she explained, the governments have to create sustainable living environments through their policies and action plans.

Dr. Neira said the WHO is receiving support from the UAE leadership in a number of projects. “We are grateful to the Emirates for such support and hosting this climate meeting.”

Source: Emirates News Agency

New project will ‘eclipse’ record-breaking Noor Abu Dhabi solar plant: Minister

ABU DHABI, A senior official announced a commitment to a new solar project in Abu Dhabi that is expected to set a new record.

“I am excited to announce a new 2 gigawatt, GW, solar project in Al Dhafra region here in Abu Dhabi. This will eclipse the record-breaking 1GW Noor Abu Dhabi Plant,” said Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment.

He made the announcement without elaborating further about the new solar project, while addressing the Abu Dhabi Climate Meeting on Sunday.

Noor Abu Dhabi, the world’s largest single solar project, with a capacity of 1,177 Megawatt,MW, started commercial operation on the eve of the Abu Dhabi Climate Meeting.

Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), a leading company in the coordination of planning, purchasing and providing of water and electricity across the UAE, said the project will enable Abu Dhabi to increase its production of renewable energy and reduce the use of natural gas in electricity generation. This will make energy more sustainable and efficient and reducing the Emirate’s carbon dioxide emissions by 1 million metric tonnes per year, the equivalent of removing 200,000 cars off the roads, EWEC said.

The AED3.2 billion solar plant, located at Sweihan in Abu Dhabi, is a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi Power Corporation and a consortium of Japan’s Marubeni Corp and China’s Jinko Solar Holding.

Providing enough capacity to cover the demand of 90,000 people, the plant features more than 3.2 million solar panels, installed across an 8km2 site. Beyond size, Noor Abu Dhabi broke another record at the time of bid submission, attracting the world’s most competitive tariff of 8.888 fils/ kilowatt hour.

Source: Emirates News Agency

MOCCAE, ADGM partner to accelerate sustainable finance activities, green technology

ABU DHABI, The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, MOCCAE, today announced a new partnership with the Abu Dhabi Global Market, ADGM, to embed sustainable finance in the UAE and wider region.

The Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, was signed by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State and Chairman of ADGM, on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Climate Meeting � the precursor for the UN Climate Action Summit.

The key details of the deal include attracting private investment and cutting-edge technologies to the country by addressing regulation and funding gaps; creating an information exchange in international sustainable finance, and contributing to the formation of a comprehensive regulatory and legal framework for sustainable finance in the UAE and the wider region.

Under the Paris Agreement, the UAE pledged to place sustainability at the core of its strategies. MOCCAE’s cooperation with ADGM will further develop sustainable financial markets to achieve the objectives of the UAE Green Agenda 2030, and the National Climate Change Plan 2050.

Commenting on the signing, Dr. Al Zeyoudi said, “I’m delighted that today we have made a huge step in advancing our response to climate change with this new partnership with the ADGM free zone. We know that climate action makes economic sense; and as we grow our financial services industry here in the UAE we are determined to do so sustainably.

“And so today we make Abu Dhabi the go-to, natural, professional environment for clean technology and say to potential investors: we are open for conversations about how our frameworks and capacity can support you, see what we have to offer.”

For his part, Al Sayegh added, “Over the years, the UAE Government has taken bold and firm steps to establish and maintain a sustainable economy and environment for our future generations.”

“As an International Financial Centre, Abu Dhabi Global Market plays an active role in supporting and enabling our industries, the financial sector and the overall economy to achieve their goals and enjoy sustainable growth for the long term. We are pleased to work closely with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and like-minded partners on greater adoption of clean technology, green solutions and sustainable finance in our marketplace and across the region,” he concluded.

Source: Emirates News Agency