The UAE government places climate change at the top of the government’s list of policy priorities, evident from the establishment of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) in 2016. Similar to all countries, the UAE is prone to the impacts of climate change if left unmanaged; ranging from increased numbers of extreme weather events, sea level rises, and indirectly, disruptions in food supplies due to other countries’ vulnerability to climate change. For all those reasons, MOCCAE is leading the way by proposing legislations, plans, strategies and policies to mitigate the impact of climate change in the UAE. In addition, MOCCAE actively engages in international climate change negotiations through close coordination with all concerned stakeholders to address global climate challenges.
Policies and Initiatives
- Launch of ‘The Climate Project’ (2018), in cooperation with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the International Renewable Energy Agency, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Antigua & Barbuda and the renowned actor, Robert De Niro. The initiative intends to raise awareness on climate change and the importance of climate resilience, underpinned by a standard to mainstream the consideration of climate resilience in the UAE’s foreign development assistance, and will cover the entire AED 18.35 billion (USD 5 billion) UAE aid portfolio
- Launch of the ‘Climate Innovation Exchange Forum’ (CLIX) at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (2018) to facilitate the sourcing and funding of climate change solutions and technologies through partnerships with youth, entrepreneurs, innovators and investors
- Adoption of the National Climate Change Plan 2050 by the UAE Cabinet (2017). The plan is a comprehensive framework to support the transition to a climate resilient green economy, while managing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing climate adaptation capabilities, and engaging private sector and other stakeholders to support the mitigation and adaptation efforts of the government
- Launch of the ‘National Climate Adaptation Program’ (2017), to assess the climate adaptation potential of four key sectors (health, energy, infrastructure and environment) and outline the direct and indirect climate related risks and the existing or possible actionable solutions for adaptation to be further implemented. Subsequently, in order to facilitate climate action to all relevant UAE stakeholders, the plan to develop a climate change law was announced at the UAE Annual Government Meeting (2018)
Climate science expertise is a common challenge for all countries, yet fundamental to ensure that effective policies are devised and adaptive capabilities are enhanced. To this end, MOCCAE is working with relevant UAE research institutions to enhance region specific climate modeling¨ building on existing work such as those conducted by the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI). Similarly, socio-economic impacts of climate change are also being researched for informed decision-making.