Climate Chart of the Week: UN climate summit host’s progress ‘insufficient’, says scientific group

The United Arab Emirates emissions policies fall short of the 1.5°C warming target.  Graph showing emissions (million tons of CO2 equivalent per year, excluding LULUCF*).  By 2030. The first chart shows these emissions levels in the context of modeled predicted trajectories.  Each pathway corresponds to a level of global warming from 4C to the 1.5C target of the Paris climate agreement.  From this we can see that their current commitments and targets have been classified as insufficient, meaning that they would result in warming of between 3C and 2C.  The second chart shows the same emissions levels, but this time in a so-called 'fair share' context.  In this sense, we can see that the United Arab Emirates is classified as critically insufficient.  This means that if all governments' emissions targets were in the same range as the UAE, warming would exceed 4C.

The UAE’s greenhouse gas emissions are among the highest globally per capita, an uncomfortable metric for the petrostate striving to be a green leader as it hosts the UN’s COP28 climate summit this year. .

The oil and gas producing nations of the Middle East, including Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, have some of the highest per capita carbon emissions in the world, surpassing other big emitters including the US. ., China and Russia, according to Oxford-based research. group Our world in data.

In absolute terms, China and the US are the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters on an annual basis, while the US is the biggest polluter on record.

All countries face the challenge of meeting the globally agreed Paris Agreement target of limiting warming to well below 2C, and ideally 1.5C.

the united arab emirates appointed the boss of his state oil company, Sultan al-Jaber, as president of COP28 last week, a decision that sparked a backlash from climate experts and activists.

However, US climate envoy John Kerry and EU green chief Frans Timmermans this week defended Jaber’s appointment, citing his renewable energy credentials.

Jaber launched Masdar, the Abu Dhabi clean energy company, in 2006, which has become one of the world’s largest renewable energy groups and aims to increase its global renewable energy capacity to 100 GW by 2030.

However, the United Arab Emirates’ national emissions reduction target is rated “grossly insufficient” by the independent scientific research group Climate Action Tracker.

The economy-wide emissions reduction target of 31 percent by 2030, compared with a “business as usual” scenario in 2030, would result in emissions more than triple compared to 1990 levels, CAT estimated.

Compared to the UAE’s “fair share” of climate mitigation, the target was also “critically insufficient,” the group said.

The country Announced during COP27 last November that a new target for an 18 percent emissions cut by 2030, compared to 2019 levels, would be included in his upcoming UN submission this year.

The United Arab Emirates had “prioritized climate action on its national agenda,” the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment told the Financial Times in response to the CAT findings.

Jaber touted the UAE’s credentials in his first speech as COP28 president last week, ahead of the Future Energy World Summit in Abu Dhabi. He said the UAE was the first in the region to commit to the Paris Agreement to limit global warming, noting that the nation’s renewable energy goals.

OPEC members the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are vying to be the countries that sell the last barrels of oil as demand for fossil fuels dwindles, arguing that their production processes are less emissions-intensive per barrel. than those of other nations.

Emissions intensity measures are relative to production, which means that production and absolute emissions can continue to increase even if emissions intensity decreases.

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, led by Jaber, announced this year that it planned to spend $15 billion by 2030 on clean energy, carbon capture and storage, and electrification to reduce its carbon intensity by 25 percent by 2030.

That spending is just a part of the projected total capital spending of $150 billion between 2023 and 2027, an amount recently passed by the Adnoc board.

“As a progressive and responsible energy provider, Adnoc is committed to making today’s energy cleaner while investing in tomorrow’s clean energy,” Adnoc said in a statement to the FT.

More than 600 fossil fuel lobbyists registered to attend COP27, a quarter more than the previous year, according to an analysis by campaign group Global Witness. The United Arab Emirates brought the largest number of lobbyists of any government delegation, 70, the campaign group found.

Jaber said this week that COP28 would be a “COP for action and a COP for all, bringing together the north and south of the world and leaving no one behind.”

“COP28 in the United Arab Emirates will seek to find a global consensus so that we can go further and faster and move from the goals to achieving it,” he said.

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