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COP27: UAE says it's a responsible energy supplier as Saudi Arabia affirms renewables push

Highlights

UAE producing low-carbon oil and gas: president

Nation will work to lower emissions from oil, gas sector

Saudi Arabia reiterates efforts on clean energy investments

  • Author
  • Dania Saadi
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  • Bill Montgomery
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  • COP27 Energy Transition Environment and Sustainability

The UAE is a responsible energy supplier and will continue to play this role as long as the world needs oil and gas, its president said at the UN Climate Change Conference Nov. 7, as Saudi Arabia's crown prince affirmed the country's commitment to promoting clean energy investments in the Middle East.

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"The UAE is a known as a responsible supplier of energy and will continue to play this role for as long as the world needs oil and gas," UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed told COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

"The oil and gas [sector] in the UAE is among the least carbon-intensive around the world, and we will continue to focus on lowering carbon emissions from this sector."

Clean energy investments

The UAE is also boosting its renewables and clean energy investments, such as the recent partnership agreement signed with the US to help mobilize $100 billion to develop 100 GW of clean energy projects globally by 2035, he added.

The UAE, OPEC's third-largest producer, is the first Persian Gulf country to announce plans to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and was soon followed by Saudi Arabia and Bahrain with a similar pledge by 2060 and Oman by 2050. The UAE also will host COP28 in 2023.

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Saudi commitment on renewables

For his part, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reiterated his country's commitment to promote investments in renewables and clean energy to reduce the country's emissions and those of participants in the Middle East Green Initiative, which was launched by Saudi Arabia last year. He was speaking at the Middle East Green Initiative Summit held in Sharm el-Sheikh in tandem with COP27.

He also reiterated Saudi Arabia's diversification of its energy mix for power generation, which will rely 50% on renewables by 2030.

Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, still relies on crude burn, especially during the summer months, for power generation. It is trying to switch to gas and boost its renewables capacity to free up oil used in power generation for export.