COP28 in UAE Will be a Major Success: Eng. Mohammed Al Taani
The 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the UNFCCC scheduled from 30 November to 12 December, 2023, in the UAE is going to be a major success, said Eng. Mohammed Al Taani, Secretary General of Arab Renewable Energy Commission (AREC).
In an exclusive interview with Sustainability Middle East, on the sidelines of the Middle East Energy conference, Eng. Al Taani shed light on important topics ranging from energy transition to sustainability. Below are the excerpts from the conversation...
Q. Energy Transition: What have been the main challenges, and how can we address them?
A. Energy transition in the Arab countries need a huge infrastructure of smart grids and renewable energy interconnections. Also, the complicated geopolitical situation in our region still continues to be an impediment for sustainability and the security of energy, water, food and environment.
Q. How important is the role of Youths, in our journey of Energy Transition?
A. New green jobs, careers for youths in the Arab countries is the key for the success of energy transition. And it is also essential for the social aspects in Arab committees.
Q. AREC encourages the adoption of renewables. How willing do you see the stakeholders towards this agenda?
A. Arab Renewable Energy Commission has already put in place a strategy for Sustainability in general and specially, renewable energy, to reach and achieve the following targets:
Renewables - 30% by 2030
Energy Efficiency - 30% by 2030
Smart Cities - 40% by 2040
Electrical Vehicles - 40% by 2040
Q. Is net zero achievable in the foreseeable future, or is it a myth?
A. All Arab countries are working very hard to achieve this target of net-zero, and decarbonisation by 2050.
Q. Which sectors do you think can achieve this wonder figure at the earliest, and why?
A. All sectors have the same targets to achieve energy transition: reducing consumption and depending more on renewable energy and green hydrogen, specially in industry, agriculture, water pumping, transportation and smart cities' infrastructure.
Q. What role is the Arab World going to play in driving the transition to renewables, and how can it set an example for the rest of the world.
A. Despite the Arab countries being in the top ten list, in oil and natural gas reserves, many Arab countries have achieved significant green goals in advance. For example Jordan, UAE, Morocco, Algeria, Oman, Kuwait and others have already reached more than 20% on its energy mix maps from renewables. And most of them are planning for huge infrastructure for green hydrogen production in their countries.
Q. Your expectations from COP28?
A. I foresee maximum success for COP28 in the UAE, as this country has been a leader and pioneer in renewable energy investments, and smart cities. And UAE's plans to have the biggest green hydrogen plant in the world, are exemplary.