The Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy (AGDA), the UAE’s leading diplomatic training centre, in cooperation with the Office for the UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change, have launched a capacity building programme aimed at enhancing knowledge, information and skills to address climate change through progressive climate action.
The training programme will be open to senior government officials, corporate executives, diplomats, negotiators and advisors and will focus on the essentials of climate change, regional climate priorities, climate diplomacy, the energy transition and the UAE’s net zero strategic initiative.
The courses will also provide trainings on communication and stakeholder engagement and other essential topics to enhance the role of the public and private sectors in delivering social and economic progress through climate action.
Approximately 150 to 200 individuals will be selected through a competitive process to undergo an extensive first wave training programme of six-months, to be followed by a second wave of similar duration, in anticipation of the UAE’s COP28 Presidency.
Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and the UAE Climate Change Special Envoy, said, “The AGDA training programme will provide an essential tool for key segments of UAE’s leadership in the public and private sector to prepare for COP28 and seize the socio- economic opportunities of progressive climate action.
The programme will not only strengthen the UAE’s capabilities in climate diplomacy, but will also empower the private sector to maximise the opportunities of low carbon sustainable development.”
He added, “As the UAE prepares to host leaders and negotiators from 197 countries, we are keen to build a broad and inclusive coalition of constructive partners. We will encourage a process that takes input from all sectors, public and private, civil society, scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs. We aim to turn pledges and promises into practical outcomes. I am confident that this capacity building programme will enable government and private sector entities to communicate effectively with key partners and translate strategies on paper into results on the ground.”
Nickolay Mladenov, Director General a.i. of AGDA, said, “We are honoured to partner with the Office of the UAE Climate Change Special Envoy in undertaking such a unique national training programme in support of the critical effort to prepare for a successful COP28 in 2023. The UAE has set ambitious national goals for itself and is ready to advance the capacity and skills across all sectors of government to deliver successfully on the COP28 host requirements.”
The UAE views progressive climate action as essential to global security and a significant opportunity for economic growth and was the first country in the region to sign and ratify the Paris Agreement and the first to commit to an economy-wide reduction in emissions.
Last year the UAE was the first country in the MENA region to declare a “Net Zero by 2050” strategic initiative – a vehicle for economic growth, job production and industrial expansion that is closely aligned to the UAE’s long term development goals. Early investment in diversifying the UAE’s energy mix has already established regional leadership in clean energy – from renewables to nuclear.
Furthermore, the UAE made its first major investments in clean energy over 15 years ago when the economic case for renewables was not easy to make. Today, the UAE is home to three of the world’s largest and lowest cost solar plants in the world. With renewable investments in over 40 countries, the UAE intends to expand its global portfolio to well over 100 GW by 2030. The country also has a substantial track record of climate aid, distributing over USD 1 billion in climate aid, in particular to small island nations that are most exposed to climate risks.
The UAE has also pioneered carbon capture technology in the region with the first industrial scale CCUS facility that captures 800 thousand tonnes of CO2 per annum.
The country is now moving into hydrogen and developing hydrogen value chains with key markets in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. In addition, the UAE is exploring low carbon technologies in other industries. For instance, Emirates Global Aluminium has developed the world’s first manufacturing process to produce automotive sheeting using solar power. The UAE is also home to several fast-growing agricultural technology start-ups that are producing food using five times less water than conventional agriculture and creating seeds that can thrive in harsh desert environments.
The series of training modules will also include prominent speakers with expert knowledge on relevant climate verticals, from mitigation to adaptation, climate finance, climate diplomacy, renewable and clean technologies and other innovations in low carbon economic development.