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UAE capable of exporting renewable hydrogen to Europe in future: EU Energy commissioner

By Binsal Abdulkader

ABU DHABI, 5th December, 2021 (WAM) — The UAE with its abundant solar power has the potential to become an exporter of renewable hydrogen to Europe in the future, a top European Union (EU) official told Emirates News Agency (WAM).

"What is important for us, in addition to scaling up renewable hydrogen in the EU, is to create a global hydrogen market that would facilitate production and trade. For this, we need other pioneers across the globe who prioritise renewable hydrogen, and UAE with its abundant solar power and interest in hydrogen has much potential in this field," Kadri Simson, European Union Commissioner for Energy, said when asked about the potential EU-UAE cooperation in this sector.

"I understand that the UAE is currently working on its very own hydrogen strategy, something that the EU put forward last year. We are of course happy to share our experience, also in the context of our upcoming proposal on new hydrogen market rules that we will adopt this year." "It cannot be excluded that in the future, the UAE would export renewable hydrogen to Europe, to meet the growing demand," added the official who was on an official visit to the UAE recently.

UAE’s hydrogen initiatives

Simson’s comments are relevant in the wake of major initiatives announced by the UAE this year, aiming a leading global role in green hydrogen. The latest one was announced on Wednesday by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on creating a global clean energy powerhouse intended to spearhead the drive to net-zero carbon by 2050.

He said Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA), Mubadala Investment Company (Mubadala) and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) will partner under the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) brand, consolidating their combined efforts in renewable energy and green hydrogen.

Wednesday’s announcement consolidates the efforts of all three partners, combining their renewable energy and green hydrogen portfolios into Masdar. The new Masdar partnership builds on the creation in January 2021 of the Abu Dhabi Hydrogen Alliance, comprised of Mubadala, ADNOC and ADQ (TAQA’s majority shareholder) and the launch on 17th November of a new global renewable energy venture between ADNOC and TAQA.

Potential of hydrogen

The EU official pointed out that hydrogen is an energy carrier, which can help decarbonise sectors where it is not easy to do – for example heavy industry and some modes of transport. "It can also be used as a storage solution for renewable energy, something that is becoming increasingly important as we move towards net zero."

At the EU Energy Day at the Expo 2020 Dubai, "we selected renewable hydrogen as the focus of our high-level event, as we see significant potential in renewable hydrogen globally and the EU hydrogen policy has a clear external dimension. International cooperation is a big part of our energy policy, so it’s important for us to reach out and discuss issues," she explained.

EU-UAE cooperation in net zero, Methane Pledge

About the potential of EU-UAE cooperation in other areas of energy, the official said, "We now have a common commitment in the EU and the UAE to become climate neutral by 2050. I am very interested in seeing the concrete plans to implement this ambitious agenda and I hope this serves as inspiration for those countries in the region who don’t yet have net zero as a target."

She is also very pleased that the UAE signed up to the Methane Pledge launched by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the US President, Joe Biden, to cut 30 percent of dangerous methane emissions globally by 2030, compared to 2020 levels.

"This is a priority area for the EU, and we are interested in working very closely [with the UAE] on this. I hope the UAE will take this topic forward as a host of COP28. Other promising areas for cooperation are energy efficiency, renewable energy – especially solar," Simson explained.

EU renovating buildings to save energy

In an interview with WAM during her last visit to the UAE in January 2020, she had talked about an EU initiative to renovate old buildings that would help save 50 percent energy used for heating and cooling in European housing sector.

"Since then, we have launched several initiatives to make our buildings more sustainable and efficient. We have proposed to extend carbon pricing to the building sector, which would motivate a switch to renewable energy sources. The benchmark we have set is 49 percent renewables in buildings by 2030 and the use of renewable energy in heating and cooling should increase by 1.1 percentage points each year."

Simson said her recent UAE visit was very useful and interesting as she had the opportunity to have high-level discussion on energy policy with different stakeholders and to visit several pavilions at the Expo 2020 Dubai where the focus was on sustainability and renewable energy.

"It was educational and gave me renewed hope for the future," she said.

WAM/ Ibrahim Shukralla

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UAE Non-Resident Ambassador presents credentials to Governor-General of Papua New Guinea

PORT MORESBY, 26th September, 2023 (WAM) — Jamal Al Suwaidi, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of Singapore, presented his credentials as UAE Non-Resident Ambassador to Papua New Guinea to Grand Chief Sir Bob Dadae, Governor-General of Papua New Guinea, during a ceremony held at Government House in the capital, Port Moresby.

During the meeting, Al Suwaidi conveyed to the Governor-General Grand Chief Sir Bob Dadae the greetings of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, as well as their wishes for further progress and prosperity for the government and people of Papua New Guinea.

For his part, Governor-General Grand Chief Sir Bob Dadae conveyed his greetings to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, and expressed his wishes for further growth and prosperity for the government and people of the UAE.

Governor-General Grand Chief Sir Bob Dadae wished Al Suwaidi success in his work to strengthen bilateral relations in various fields, stressing his country's readiness to provide all possible support to facilitate his duties.

For his part, Al Suwaidi expressed his pride in representing the United Arab Emirates in Papua New Guinea and his keenness to enhance and activate bilateral relations in various fields to serve the interests of the two countries.

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Arab Media Forum kicks off in Dubai

DUBAI, 26th September, 2023 (WAM) — The 21st edition of the Arab Media Forum began today at the Madinat Jumeirah.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the two-day event will bring together over 3,000 distinguished attendees including influential media personalities, ministers and heads of leading local, Arab and international media organisations, as well as thought leaders, intellectuals and writers.

The Forum will witness over 75 sessions featuring 130 speakers and the participation of 160 media organisations to explore cutting-edge media trends and discuss a new vision for charting a bright future for the Arab world’s media.

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UAE Foreign Minister, Indian counterpart discuss comprehensive strategic partnership in New York

NEW YORK, 26th September, 2023 (WAM) — H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, has met with Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister of India, on the sidelines of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) in New York.

The meeting touched on the historical friendship relations, the comprehensive strategic partnership between the UAE and India, and the means to further develop cooperation as part of the two countries' strategic partnership.

The UAE Foreign Minister and his Indian counterpart also reviewed the issue of climate change and bilateral cooperation in this regard, with the UAE hosting the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) this year in Expo City Dubai.

Sheikh Abdullah stressed that the UAE and India are keen to support multilateral international action to find effective solutions to all challenges and build fruitful and constructive partnerships that benefit humanity.

He pointed out that the two friendly countries have been linked to a comprehensive strategic partnership since 2017 and a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement since 2022, enabling them to accomplish many development achievements for their people. Sheikh Abdullah stressed that COP28 represents a great opportunity to highlight this exceptional UAE-India ties and the significance of international cooperation in facing all pressing challenges.

The meeting was attended by Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Political Affairs and UAE's Permanent Representative to the United Nation.

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