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The UAE, which will host COP28 later this year, is fortifying its commitment to a greener future by integrating sustainability into various sectors of its economy. In a landmark decision, the UAE Cabinet approved the third update of the country’s second Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) under the Paris Agreement, which aims to reduce carbon emissions and set clear targets for all sectors, increasing its commitment to reducing emissions from 23.5% in its second NDC to 31% in the second updated NDC.
With the third update of the second NDC, the UAE targets a reduction of 40% compared to business-as-usual projections.
Following this, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) has outlined a roadmap, uniting the public and private sectors to accelerate the UAE’s journey toward achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
One notable feature of the UAE’s commitment is its decision to adopt fixed-level and base-year targets, following the model used by developed countries. This approach sets the stage for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions from the projected 208 MtCO2e (as announced in the updated second NDC in 2022) to 182 MtCO2e by 2030. This represents an absolute reduction of 19% compared to the 2019 base year level.
The announcement aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals by outlining sectoral goals for domestic sectors such as power and water generation, heavy industry, transport, waste, buildings, and agriculture to achieve these targets.
Meanwhile, the nation is focused on tripling its investments in renewable energy over the next seven years and establishing a specialized national research and development center for the hydrogen sector, recognizing its significance as a clean energy source.