The United Arab Emirates has announced a target to significantly increase its share of low-carbon energy over the next few years.
Through its submission to the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced its target to achieve 24% of low-carbon by 2021. The target is central to the Intended Nationally-Determined Contribution (INDC) that all countries were required to submit by 1 October this year in the run-up to the Paris climate change summit.
The UAE Cabinet, on 25 October, endorsed the target to increase low-carbon energy contribution to the overall energy mix from 0.2% in 2014 to 24% in 2021. Low-carbon technologies would include renewable energy and nuclear power. This overall target would be distributed among the 7 Emirates, some of which (like Dubai) have already announced such targets.
To achieve the target, the UAE will implement energy efficiency measures, feed-in tariff reforms, and demand-side management initiatives. Such measures would include dissemination of information to consumers about their power consumption patterns, implementation of electric appliance entry efficiency standards, and setting water and energy consumption standards for buildings.
In the transportation sector, the UAE plans to implement a new fuel pricing policy which would track the global crude oil prices. Rail infrastructure, for people as well as goods, would be expanded and emissions standards for vehicles will be implemented in accordance with European standards.
As far as adaptation measures are concerned, the UAE will take initiatives in waste management, water conservation and desalination, wetland and marine environment conservation, after having already launched a process to build an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions.
Dubai seems to be at the forefront of the transition to clean energy sources. The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority is working on the historic Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park which would have 1 GW operational capacity by 2019 and 3 GW by 2030, and the Authority plans to source 7% of Dubai’s total power output from renewable energy sources by 2020, and 15% by 2030.