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His Excellency Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi Highlights UAE's Proactive Climate Action on Global Stage

A high-level UAE delegation, headed by His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, has concluded a successful visit to the state of California, United States. The prime goal of the visit was to participate in the Global Summit on Climate Action in San Francisco, California, where decision makers from around the world sat down together to present and scrutinize plans and proposals for broader and more effective future action on climate change.

The summit, held from September 12 to 14, promoted climate action focused on five key areas: Healthy Energy Systems, Inclusive Economic Growth, Sustainable Communities, Land and Ocean Stewardship, and Transformative Climate Investments.

In his keynote at a session held during the summit under the theme ‘To Act on Climate, Empower Women’, His Excellency Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi said: “Not only do women constitute half of our population, but they are disproportionally affected by impacts of climate change in many parts of the world. Yet, they are often the holders of knowledge and experience, or have the potential to help us address climate change, and in our view, it is a missed opportunity if we do not engage them. In the UAE, our leadership has long believed in the role of women and has strongly supported raising profile of women’s participation in our society.”

The delegation visited the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, where His Excellency Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi presented a lecture on global issues and highlighted the UAE’s experience in tackling climate change and deploying clean energy solutions locally and across the globe.

Addressing the University’s student body, His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi said: “I was saddened to hear about the extreme fires you have witnessed – some of the worst in history. Unfortunately, California is not alone. Extreme weather events and harsher climates are becoming more common all over the world.”

Furthermore, the delegation’s agenda included a visit to the Planet's manufacturing facility and a tour of NASA's Sustainability Base, a building that was designed to exhibit and test the latest energy-saving technologies as part of the federal government's drive to eliminate fossil-fuel consumption in all government buildings by 2030. They also toured Arable Labs, a pioneer of data-driven land management that provides affordable agricultural technologies for the collection of site-specific agricultural data.

His Excellency Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi also visited the headquarters of Saildrone, a manufacturer of wind- and solar-powered autonomous surface vehicles designed for cost-effective ocean data collection, where he explored areas of collaboration and learned more about the innovative solutions for ocean data collection.

And in the presence of Jerry Brown, the Governor of California, His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi, alongside a distinguished host of dignitaries, participated in the Talanoa Dialogue. The dialogue is a process designed to help countries implement and enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions by 2020.

His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi spoke on how the UAE is making headway in its climate action. He said: “Climate action and renewable energy make economic sense. Climate action will create more jobs, more economic growth, and more energy security. Indeed – the UAE is proof of this. We have some of the most ambitious clean energy targets of 27% by 2021, and 50% by 2050 in the energy mix, as well as a national target to increase energy efficiency by 40% by 2050. We will invest just over $160 billion, but we will save well over $190 billion.”

Furthermore, His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi participated in a panel discussion titled ‘Ocean Leadership’, with His Excellency Frank Bainimarama, the Prime Minister of Fiji, and Hilda Heine, President of Marshall Islands.

The UAE delegation held several bilateral meetings to boost cooperation in sustainable environmental, economic, investment and technological fields. These included a meeting with Richard Sorkin, CEO and co-founder of Jupiter Intelligence, and Lisa Jackson, Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives at Apple.


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