The UAE, Opec’s third largest producer (MEES, 8 October), has become the first Middle Eastern petrostate to make a net-zero emissions commitments. Just weeks ahead of next month’s COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, UK, the UAE unveiled its pledge to achieve net zero by 2050. Quite how the UAE, which aims to increase crude oil production capacity to 5mn b/d by 2030 and also has ambitious gas expansion plans will achieve its target is unclear. Even with peak oil demand expected to be reached before 2050 it is hard to imagine the UAE halting production by then.

While the roadmap has yet to be drawn up, the UAE is certainly cleaning up its act. Abu Dhabi has now brought online two out of the four 1.4GW units that will comprise the 5.6GW Barakah nuclear power plant. Meanwhile solar is increasingly playing a major role (MEES, 2 July). On the other hand, Dubai is developing the 2.4GW Hassyan ‘clean’ coal power plant. With a planned operational span of 25 years, Hassyan might have stopped operating by 2050, but its development is still at odds with the UAE’s stated environmental priorities. (CONTINUED - 186 WORDS)