The UAE could become the first nation among the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to set a net-zero target by 2050 to align with a global decision that will help keep the world temperature rising from more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to media reports.
This decision was announced ahead of the Glasgow climate summit and it is sure to please the Western countries who are pushing for stronger climate protection laws, but it won’t require them to sell less oil.
Considering a target of 2050 to meet their target and if they succeed in the discussion that will take place in the summit, UAE could very well become the first OPEC country to reach net-zero while continuing its plans to invest in oil extraction. The net-zero charge is being led by Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE’s special envoy for climate change and minister of industry and advanced technology.
Hana AlHashimi, who heads Al Jaber’s office, told the media on a call hosted by the US-UAE Business Council, “We are certainly working on a whole-of-government approach to see at what point it would be feasible to achieve net-zero. “I’d encourage you to stay tuned”.
The emissions that come from burning fossil fuels after they are shipped to different countries from all over the world are not included in the country-level targets. The UAE’s major revenue is still dependent on fossil fuels since it contributes around 30 percent of the country’s GDP.
The UAE is also trying to be the host of the UN’s global climate talks in 2023 and currently, South Korea is its only competitor that has set a net-zero goal by 2050