Urgency of climate adaptation for prosperity highlighted at COP25

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(Madrid) – The importance behind prioritising climate adaptation to assist vulnerable countries has been highlighted at COP25.

On the sidelines of the 25th Conference of the Parties, COP25, to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC, Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, delivered the UAE national statement where he emphasised the importance of prioritising efforts to help vulnerable countries in the developing world adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Dr Al Zeyoudi said, “The international community must join forces and work seamlessly to provide the technologies, scientific research, and capacity building needed to address the climate emergency. COP25 comes at a time when tragic extreme weather events in various regions dominate the news, and with the deadline for countries to strengthen their nationally determined contributions, NDCs, under the Paris Agreement just around the corner.

“At this stage, expediting and intensifying adaptation measures seems to be the only viable way of protecting the future of all mankind.”

The Minister added, “Prioritising adaptation measures can save millions of lives worldwide through establishing a climate-resilient infrastructure. It can also facilitate economic growth through expanding sectors such as clean and renewable energy and green building, thus creating new jobs.”

He also noted that the UAE has a proven track record of working towards securing a climate-safe future, and has always fulfilled its commitments under the Paris Agreement regarding drafting as well as upgrading its NDCs.

Al Zeyoudi presented an overview of the country’s achievements in this area in the past year. Globally, these included hosting the Abu Dhabi Climate Meeting as a precursor to the UN Climate Action Summit 2019, and upgrading its NDCs to achieve a target of 50 percent clean energy in its total energy mix by 2050, generated from renewable and nuclear power sources.

Locally, the country commenced operations at the 1.1GW Noor Abu Dhabi solar plant, announced a new venture in the capital with a capacity of 2GW that is already in the works, and continues to work on the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park that will add 5GW to the grid upon completion.

Al Zeyoudi also pointed out that the fifth phase of the Solar Park received the world’s lowest bid of 1.69 US cents per kW/h for 900 MW.

And as part of diversifying its energy mix, the UAE established the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, the first in the Arab world, to supply up to 25 percent of the country’s electricity needs, once fully operational.