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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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Canadian Ambassador to UAE welcomes launch of Canada-UAE Sovereign Wealth Fund Council

ABU DHABI, 1st April, 2023 (WAM) — Canadian Ambassador to the UAE, Kris Panday, has welcomed the launch of the Canada-UAE Sovereign Wealth Fund Council (SWFC).

“The mission of the SWFC is to harness the synergies between Canada and the UAE’s preeminent institutional investors to deliver superior risk-adjusted returns in support of common interests”, said the Ambassador.

The SWFC will help identify opportunities for strategic capital collaboration and thought leadership between Canadian public Pension Funds (PPFs) and UAE Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) in global markets, he noted.

It is designed to offer an investment collaboration framework that has a more dynamic and flexible structure benefitting Canada and the UAE as two key investment partners, Panday said.

Panday will serve as Chief Co-Patron of the SWFC along with Fahad Saeed Al Raqbani, the UAE Ambassador to Canada.

Shezad Rokerya has been appointed as Senior Advisor to Ambassador Panday and will serve as Chairman of the SWFC.

Ambassador Al Raqbani said, “Through the Canada-UAE SWFC we have the capacity to capitalise on the individual strengths of both countries, bringing together innovative ideas, expert knowledge, and resources to power sustainable economic development and investment possibilities.”

He added, “This partnership paves the way for further cooperation that will impact the global financial outlook in the future. It is not only a strategic opportunity but also a shared responsibility in constructing a more sustainable and equitable future for all.”

Rokerya, SWFC Chairman, said, “The top six Canadian PPFs and UAE SWFs cumulatively manage over US$3 trillion in assets. The SWFC will enable these stakeholders to jointly develop investment strategies and deploy capital globally in a transformative and impactful manner to achieve significant value creation.”

This initiative will serve as a catalyst for empowering multiple constituents from both Canada and the UAE to strategically develop and collaborate in investments globally. The SWFC stakeholders will be able to leverage each other’s respective strengths, challenges, experience and thought leadership in each asset class, sector, and geographic influence to develop areas of collaboration. The SWFC will lead discussions with senior leadership from Canadian PPFs and UAE SWFs to develop a governance framework and outline shared alignment and overarching criteria for the development of potential co-investment strategies.

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Alfardan Group supports ‘1 Billion Meals Endowment’ campaign with a AED5 million contribution

DUBAI, 1st April, 2023 (WAM) — Alfardan Group announced its contribution of AED 5 million in support of “1 Billion Meals Endowment” campaign, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to establish the largest Ramadan sustainable food aid endowment fund.

Organised by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives to coincide with the holy month of Ramadan, the campaign aims to provide a food safety net for the world’s most underprivileged populations in countries struggling with food insecurity, as well as help vulnerable groups including victims of natural disasters and crises.

Alfardan Group pledged to contribute AED 5 million over a period of 5 years to help launch the largest food aid endowment fund, thereby reviving the culture of endowment as a tool for development and sustainable charity.

Creating Change
Ali Fardan Al Fardan, Chairman of Alfardan Group, said: “We are honored to be part of “1 Billion Meals Endowment” campaign; a message of humanity and solidarity that supports the global endeavor to fight hunger as a major challenge to realizing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
“The campaign and endowment fund represent the UAE’s deep understanding of sustainable humanitarian efforts role and significance in supporting underprivileged populations,” he added.

The Fight against Hunger
The “1 Billion Meals Endowment” campaign furthers UAE’s contribution towards the global endeavor to eradicate hunger, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. It also aligns with the country’s vision of institutionalizing and sustaining charity for the benefit of underprivileged communities. The planned sustainable food aid endowment fund is the UAE’s open invitation to the world to join forces to achieve food security and help create social stability around the world.

Donation Channels
The “1 Billion Meals Endowment” campaign continues to welcome donations and contributions to the endowment fund from institutions and individuals across five main channels including the campaign’s website (, as well as a dedicated call center via the toll free number (800 9999). Donations are also possible via bank transfers in the UAE dirham to the campaign bank account number with Emirates NBD (AE30 0260 0010 1533 3439 802). Donations via SMS give contributors the option to donate AED 1 daily through a monthly subscription, by sending the word “Meal” to 1020 for du users, or to 1110 for Etisalat by e& users. Those who wish to donate to the campaign through the DubaiNow app can do so by clicking on the “Donations” tab.

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Norway contributes $23.7 million of flexible funding to boost FAO’s capacity to respond to crises and emergencies

ROME,1st April, 2023 (WAM) – The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has welcomed a $23.7 million contribution from the Government of Norway to scale up its response to the most severe humanitarian crises and emergencies. The contribution represents the largest single unearmarked funding of its kind to date.

The funds will be channelled through FAO’s Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities (SFERA), which is a funding mechanism with streamlined procedures to receive flexible contributions from donors and allocate them where and when they are most needed.

With this funding, FAO aims to reach around 600 000 food insecure people with farming inputs, livestock supplies, fishing inputs and cash assistance where needed. The contribution will focus on countries and people most in need under Humanitarian Response Plans, while having a strategic reserve to respond quickly to sudden onset emergencies.

“We would like to thank the Government of Norway for this generous and timely contribution which will enable us to provide rapid and at scale assistance to those in greatest need,” said Rein Paulsen, Director of the FAO Office of Emergencies and Resilience. “Norway’s partnership with FAO has always focused on empowering rural families affected by hunger to protect and restore their own food production. It is of utmost importance to prioritize smallholder agriculture as a strategic frontline humanitarian response.”

Through the SFERA 2022 contribution, Norway was also among the first countries to assist the earthquake-affected families in Türkiye and the Syrian Arab Republic. Assistance is also being delivered in Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Honduras, Mali, Mozambique and the Niger.

Under the 2023 humanitarian appeals, FAO requires $1.9 billion to assist 48 million people to restore local production and gain access to a steady supply of nutritious food, facilitate their recovery and lay the foundations for resilience to future shocks.

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