UAE places technology at top of COP28 agenda in Dubai

Andrea Zanon Confidente
3 min readSep 7, 2023
https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2023/08/uae-places-technology-top-cop28-agenda-dubai

The UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, UAE Space Agency and COP28 signed an agreement in July to coordinate on technology-focused sustainable solutions ahead of the major climate change conference in Dubai later this year.

DUBAI — The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) ability to meet its renewable energy targets for COP28 depends on the widespread adoption of advanced technologies, a government official told Al-Monitor in an interview.

Omar Al Suwaidi, the undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT), said the process begins with engaging the space sector, a source of peak technological innovation, along with the MoIAT. In July, the UAE announced it will work to triple renewable energy output to 11,000 gigawatts by 2030 and invest in agri-tech development to use water and produce food efficiently.

“Both these vital sectors have a huge role to play in climate action and must work closely together in the lead-up to COP28 to ensure strategic alignment,” he said.

Hard truths

The independent research and government monitoring group Climate Action Tracker (CAT) gave the UAE an “insufficient” rating in July for the overall feasibility of reaching its climate ambitions, including net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The rating improved from a previous score of “highly insufficient” given its new targets, reported CAT, including planning to cut carbon emissions by 40% by 2030, compared to an earlier goal of 31%.

However, “there is still too little action in the real economy,” reported CAT, given ongoing plans to increase fossil fuel production and consumption.

Undersecretary of the Ministry and Advanced Technology Omar Al Suwaidi (center), Director General of the UAE Space Agency Salem Butti Salem Al Qubaisi (left), and Director-General and Special Representative of the COP28 Majid Al Suwaidi (right) at the signing of an MoU between the three agencies.

Andrea Zanon, founder of Washington-based Empower Capital and Confidente, said…

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Andrea Zanon Confidente

International sustainable development consultant and empowerment specialist