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UAE to host GCC and MENA regional climate dialogue

ABU DHABI, UAE, 1 April 2021: The United Arab Emirates will host the Regional Climate Dialogue for climate action on April 4 in Abu Dhabi, in advance of the Leaders Summit on Climate, to take place in Washington DC later this month and in the run up to COP26. The UAE regional dialogue will include the participation of John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, and Alok Sharma, COP 26 President, together with ministers and high-level climate representatives from the GCC and Mena regions.

As part of its well established role as a convener on climate action, the UAE has also invited International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Director-General, Francesco La Camera, to attend the Dialogue. The event will focus on national and regional preparations for the 26th United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), set to run from November 1 to 12, 2021. The COP26 Summit, hosted this year by the United Kingdom in Glasgow, will bring together countries from across the globe to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

His Excellency Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, said: “We look forward to welcoming Special Envoy Kerry and COP26 President Alok Sharma, along with Ministers and high-level representatives of the key economies of the GCC and MENA region to Abu Dhabi for this important dialogue. The UAE has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to progressive climate action and sought to promote sustainable development throughout the region.  By coming together for this dialogue, I believe we can create greater momentum for progress. The UAE views climate action as an opportunity for economic development, while contributing practical solutions to a global problem that affects us all. As the world seeks new pathways to ‘building back better’ in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Special Envoy Kerry’s visit will help consolidate efforts on smart sustainable solutions with tangible benefits for the global community.

“We are already seeing great examples of climate leadership throughout our region, including the recently announced initiative by our brotherly neighbors in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The regional climate dialogue will provide a constructive platform for the MENA region to unite around progressive, practical solutions that can help the world reach global climate goals, while also fostering innovation for sustainable growth.”

Speaking in advance of the meeting, COP 26 President Alok Sharma said: “It is vitally important that the world works together to tackle climate change. That means countries coming forward with net-zero targets and near-term emissions reduction targets (the 2030 NDCs) that keep 1.5 degrees within reach. The transition to a clean economy is one which can benefit us all: through creating jobs, spurring sustainable development, and cleaning our air. We are already beginning to see progress, and countries in the MENA region are well placed to take advantage of the economic opportunities of this transition. However, the consequences of climate change are already being felt across the region, and the UK will use its COP26 Presidency to build momentum on adaptation to help to keep countries, communities and people safe from the impacts of climate change.”

The Regional Climate Dialogue will provide an ideal platform for the participating countries to exchange experience in their responses to climate change and build momentum for increased global ambition in the run-up to COP26. In addition, it will enable the United States and the MENA region to examine new areas of collaboration in the field of climate change mitigation and adaptation with the aim of transforming the climate challenge into an economic opportunity.

Core themes will include accelerating the deployment of renewable energy solutions, exploring the potential of new zero-carbon-energy sources, such as green and blue hydrogen, maximizing the impact of mitigation technologies, including carbon capture, and reducing the carbon emission intensity of hydrocarbon fuels, on which the world will still rely during the energy transition. The conversation will discuss policies for adaptation to the impacts of accelerating climate change trends that are of particular concern to the region, such as food and water security, desertification mitigation and environmental conservation.

The participants will seek to develop a common understanding of climate action priorities, as well as a roadmap for cooperation towards COP26 and related milestones.

India in top three fastest-growing District Cooling markets, says Engie

Dubai, UAE, 6 March 2019: India is in the top three fastest-growing District Cooling (DC) markets in the Asia Pacific region, said Frederic Claux, Head of Assets, Engie MESCAT and board member, Tabreed, highlighting the country’s position as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with 7-8% GDP annual growth forecast in the short-to-medium term. This he said, is largely owing to the rapid growth of real estate, creation of Smart and Green cities, increased purchasing power and ambitious plans for new developments.

Additionally, Claux said, the move to integrate energy efficiency as a core strategy in India’s development demonstrates the public sector’s commitment to address climate change and electricity disruption. He said: “Government stability and different measures taken to promote and enable energy-efficient solutions creates a positive context for the development of DC. Moreover UNEP, with whom Engie has established a close cooperation, is deeply involved in the promotion of DC, in the framework of the District Energy in Cities Initiative, in India.”

To underscore the growing acceptance of District Cooling in India, Claux pointed to the Amaravati District Cooling project, which, according to Engie, is Tabreed’s first project outside the GCC region and the first District Cooling project developed in PPP in India. The agreement between Tabreed and the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) is for a total capacity of 20,000 tonnes of refrigeration (TR) for over an area of one square km for government buildings. “In parallel with the great success of the Amaravati Capital City DC project that Tabreed has been awarded,” Claux said, “we are exploring a few other opportunities around the Mumbai area and in other areas in the Western regions. The potential for development of DC projects is very promising across the country.”

District Cooling, Claux stressed, is the backbone of smarter and sustainable cities and a way to improve resilience, pointing out that it is up to 50% more efficient than conventional stand-alone air conditioning solutions and produces 50% lower CO2 emissions, allowing for more efficient integration with locally available renewable resources for cooling production. He said, “The new energy world is characterised by decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitalisation, with modern District Energy systems at the heart of the energy revolution.”

Claux said, “Engie, together with its partners in different parts of the world, like Mubadala and Tabreed in the GCC region, believes that District Cooling will create tremendous value for customers and stakeholders and has identified it as a rapidly developing growth sector, which is significantly contributing to Engie’s transformation.” He added that with more than 1.3 million TR installed, and with the acquisition of 40% of Tabreed, “Engie has become the world’s independent leader in District Cooling”.

 

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