UAE signs up to Global Methane Pledge

By John Pinching
UAE Joins Global Methane Pledge expanding on legacy as regional leader in methane reduction

In a welcome end to proceedings at COP26, The United Arab Emirates (UAE) joined the Global Methane Pledge, building on its reputation as one of the least methane intense nations in the world.

The UAE welcomed the opportunity to share its capabilities and experience in best-in-class methane performance with signatories to the EU-US led initiative that aims to cut global methane emissions by 30 per cent by the end of the decade.

The region has long acted as a regional leader in methane reduction. Over five decades, the country has successfully reduced the volume of natural gas flared in the domestic energy sector by more than 90%. In turn, the UAE’s hydrocarbon industry today holds one of the world’s lowest methane intensities of 0.01%.

It will also build on this foundation of ultra-low methane intensity in the energy sector to further improve its methane performance. The UAE aims to achieve the Oil & Gas Methane Partnership 2.0 "gold standard" by deploying advanced technology from drones to satellites, and to decarbonise natural gas to create low carbon blue hydrogen for industry.

Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Special Envoy for Climate Change, said: "We are delighted to join the Global Methane Pledge, in this special year celebrating the Golden Jubilee of our nation. The UAE has continued to lead firsts in methane, since the UAE's founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, set up the first LNG production company in the Arabian Gulf, reduced flaring and achieved one of lowest methane intensities, still leading today."

He added: "The UAE is also turning methane into opportunity with our ambitions to convert waste to energy. Together, this makes the UAE a unique leader in methane stewardship. We are delighted to help others, to share our experiences with the world, and commit to the Global Methane Pledge."

Proactive partnerships

Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, expressed appreciation to the US and EU for leading the call to the Global Methane Pledge that will mobilise tangible actions in endorsing countries.

She also thanked the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for their work on the Global Methane Assessment report, published in May 2021. The document shows that reducing human-caused methane emissions is one of the most cost-effective and impactful strategies to slow down the rate of global warming.

She added: "The UAE is a keen supporter of the global efforts to address climate change. Recognising the urgent need for multilateral cooperation in this regard, we are proud to join the Global Methane Pledge and reaffirm our commitment to cutting down on methane emissions through domestic policy-making and developing innovative solutions."

The Global Methane Pledge acknowledges that "readily available cost-effective methane emission measures have the potential to avoid over 0.2 degrees C of warming by 2050 while yielding important co-benefits, including improving public health and agricultural productivity."

The nation’s methane mitigation strategy is part of a holistic approach to climate action. Recognising that agriculture contributes to global emissions, the nation has also partnered with the US and over 30 nations to launch the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate, a global initiative aimed at accelerating investments in R&D for climate-smart agri-tech.

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