Amid the acceleration of climate change, the Middle East has been investing in sustainable development and green energy. Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates has now endorsed the Middle East as “part of the solution” to the urgent environmental issues the world is currently confronting.
Gates complimented the UAE for its determined efforts to attain zero emissions by 2050. According to Gates, the UAE is “extremely forward thinking” in its aims and is setting ambitious goals as part of its shift to cleaner energy sources. “The nuclear reactors at the Barakah power plant that are operational and pumping electricity into the grid are examples of how the country is managing the transition thoughtfully,” he added.
In a video speech played at the Countdown to COP27 event on Thursday at the Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort in Abu Dhabi, he emphasized the region’s crucial role in the fight against global climate change. To further save the environment, he urged big oil-producing countries to discover greener methods of hydrogen extraction.
“This is how we meet our goals here by investing in innovative techniques; looking at hydrogen pathways ahead of the COP27 [in the UAE],” said Gates, the founder of Breakthrough Energy, which seeks to promote innovation in sustainable energy to reduce greenhouse gasses.
Barakah is the first multi-unit nuclear power plant in the area. To meet 25% of the nation’s energy needs, the project’s four units will be able to produce adequate electricity, which has already reached the halfway point.
According to Gates, countries in the Middle East, particularly the UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, can play a significant role in embracing technology to transition away from conventional fossil fuels.
John Kerry, the US climate envoy, Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan, the founder and CEO of the Alliances for Global Sustainability, and Mohamed Al Ramahi, the CEO of Masdar, were among the climate change advocates who spoke at the First Abu Dhabi Bank event.
The UAE’s effort to attain net zero emissions by 2050 was the focus of both virtual and in-person discussions.