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UAE 'aiming for 70% carbon footprint cut' - Mazrouei

Energy Minister vows country will, however, continue to be major supplier of hydrocarbons despite emissions reduction drive

The United Arab Emirates is aiming to reduce its carbon footprint by 70% by the middle of the century at the country also lays down long-term plans to diversify its domestic energy mix.

Energy Minister Suhail Mohammed al-Mazrouei, speaking at the World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi, said the UAE will continue efforts to be a regular supplier of hydrocarbons despite the emissions reduction push.

“We would like to reduce our carbon footprint by 70% by 2050. We are encouraging all countries to diversify their energy mix to include cleaner forms of energy,” Mazrouei said.

Mazrouei said the UAE has delivered the first long-term strategy in the region for promoting cleaner forms of energy.

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“We have a strategy to share with the rest of the world. UAE’s strategy is calling for 50% contribution (by 2050) from clean forms of energy, which would include renewable and nuclear,’ he said.

The UAE’s long-term plans to diversify its energy mix and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions is likely to lead to billions of dollars-worth of benefits to the emirate.

State-owned giant Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) is aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its operations by 10% in another four years.

Adnoc has laid down plans to spend $1.8 billion by 2023 in projects involving carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS), abatement of flaring and unintended emissions.

Adnoc said earlier this year its emissions were less than half the industry average, at 39.68 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, and that it has one of the lowest methane intensities of 0.01%.

The UAE has laid out ambitious plans to boost clean energy and reduce dependence on gas-based power generation over the next three decades.

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Awaidha Murshed al-Marar, chairman of Abu Dhabi’s Department of Energy, said at the World Energy Congress that the UAE is taking the “energy transition very seriously” and placing it at “the core of their programmes and strategies for the sector".

Marar said nations stand at a crossroads – one that makes transition to renewables and clean energy imperative to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), and the tenets of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

Marar added that Abu Dhabi’s Energy Rationalisation Strategy 2030 “aims to reduce electricity consumption by 22% and water consumption by 32% by 2030".

Abu Dhabi is also progressing on a series of diversified energy projects including the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, Noor Abu Dhabi Solar PV Plant and Al Taweelah Reverse Osmosis Desalination Plant, he said.

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