Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 July 2019

WWF sets ambitious 100 per cent renewable energy goal

WWF says renewable energy presents the best opportunity for closing the gap between what science demands and what countries have committed to in terms of reducing CO2 emissions.

ABU DHABI // The World Wildlife Fund is urging the UAE to look beyond its Energy Plan 2050 and believes those ambitious goals can be surpassed by striving for 100 per cent renewable energy.

As part of its 100 per cent Renewable Energy Vision, the WWF – in association with Emirates Wildlife Society – is completing an assessment of the feasibility of 75 to 100 per cent levels of renewable power generation in the UAE by 2050.

“You look at the cost of solar and it keeps going down. The UAE is doing a very good job, but the world as a whole needs to commit more,” said Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, head of WWF International’s Climate and Energy Practice. “Right now, we are on track for 2.7°C global warming, so more needs to be done if we are to meet the Paris Agreement.”

The terms of the agreement were decided during the Conference of Parties 21, where 196 countries signed a legally binding contract to take action and reduce global warming to less than 2°C by 2050.

Mr Pulgar-Vidal said that renewable energy presents the best opportunity for closing the gap between what science demands and what countries have committed to in terms of reducing CO2 emissions.

He said the world’s energy system is in transition, driven by the demand for clean, sustainable energy, and the WWF believes that a world powered by 100 per cent renewables is possible by 2050.

“If we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change, we must limit global temperature rise to well below the 1.5°C threshold agreed to in Paris. To achieve that, we must significantly scale up the roll-out of renewable energy,” he said.

Tanzeed Alam, director of climate and energy at Emirates Wildlife Society-WWF, said: “The UAE is now uniquely positioned to push forward renewable energy innovation and has the opportunity to drive even greater ambition for renewables here and across the region,” he said.

Reaffirming the importance of cross-sector collaboration in support of the UAE’s goals, EWS-WWF is urging businesses and government entities to take action by partnering with it and fund its drive for 100 per cent use of renewables.

“Now is the opportune time to explore scaling up renewable energy and innovation and we’re inviting all entities looking to partner with us on this project to approach us throughout Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, at the World Future Energy Summit,” said Mr Alam.

EWS-WWF’s 100 per cent Renewable Energy Vision will highlight the environmental, economic, political and socially positive outcomes of the UAE’s commitment to a shift to renewable energy sources.

The analysis will also provide cross-sectoral short and long-term recommendations – on a federal and emirate level – that the UAE can realistically implement to reach these ambitious levels of renewable energy generation.

nalwasmi@thenational.ae

Updated: January 18, 2017 04:00 AM

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