UAE could become first OPEC producer to commit to zero by 2050

One of OPEC’s largest producers, United Arab Emirates (UAE), considers potential adoption of a net zero target by 2050, Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing sources familiar with the talks.

If the Gulf oil producer joins major industrialized countries in net zero emission commitments, it will become the first major petro-state to balance key emissions reduction targets with its large oil and gas industry. About 30 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is directly based on oil and gas production, according to OPEC. The oil discoveries in the United Arab Emirates, the first in the late 1950s, made the Emirates a wealthy country with a high standard of living.

According to Bloomberg sources, the UAE may consider making a net zero announcement ahead of the 26th United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow in November.

The United Arab Emirates “is certainly working on a whole-of-government approach to see when it might be possible to reach net zero,” Hana AlHashimi, who heads the office of Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technologies and of the group. The CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) said this week during a call from the UAE Business Council as quoted by Bloomberg.

Net zero emissions from oil and gas operations in the UAE would technically mean that the country could achieve net zero within its borders regardless of emissions resulting from the use of the oil it ships overseas. , Bloomberg notes.

Currently, ADNOC continues to aim to expand its oil production capacity. to 5 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2030.

Last December, the United Arab Emirates mentionned it would aim to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 23.5% compared to “business as usual” by 2030, aiming for an absolute reduction in emissions of around 70 million tonnes. The country is also seeking to increase its installed capacity of clean energy, including solar and nuclear, to 14 gigawatts (GW), and strengthen the climate resilience of its priority sectors, including energy.

If the UAE announces a net zero target, it could put pressure on other US allies in the Middle East to promise such targets, including the world’s largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for OilUSD

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