Overall rating
Highly insufficient
Policies & action
< 3°C World
Domestic target
< 3°C World
Fair share target
Critically insufficient
4°C+ World
Climate finance
Not assessed
Net zero target



Comprehensiveness not rated as

Information incomplete
Land use & forestry
Not assessed

Historical emissions

Historical emissions excl. LULUCF for the period 1990–2021 are taken from PRIMAP (Gütschow et al., 2022). LULUCF emissions for the years 1994, 2000, 2005 and 2014 are taken from the UNFCCC GHG Inventory database (UNFCCC, n.d.).

There are significant uncertainties when it comes to historical, energy-related CO2 emissions, with estimates from different sources varying significantly. We compared data reported by PRIMAP (Gütschow et al., 2022), the IEA (IEA, 2021b) and BP (BP, 2022)for energy-related CO2 emissions in the UAE in the period 2010 and 2019, and found an average difference of 60% between the lowest and highest reported values, with years where differences are above 90%. For example, in 2019 the lowest estimate (PRIMAP) reported 141 MtCO2 while the highest (BP) reported 270 MtCO2 for energy-related CO2. Due to the lack of up-to-date official data, and the large discrepancies found between different sources, there is a significant uncertainty surrounding the UAE’s actual energy-related CO2 emission levels. This is also in turn the UAE’s single largest emission source, accounting for 64% of the total (excl. LULUCF) in 2021.


The absolute emissions level incl. LULUCF of both the business-as-usual scenario and the NDC target are taken directly from the NDC document.


The target in the UAE’s 2022 NDC includes LULUCF emissions. To estimate the emissions level resulting from the target excluding LULUCF, we assume LULUCF emissions remain constant from the last available data point (2014) until 2030 and exclude these emissions from the baseline and the target.

Global Warming Potential (GWP) values

The UAE’s 2022 NDC specifies that its currently uses AR4 both for the BAU scenario and the NDC target, and that the previous NDC used GWPs from the IPCC’s Second Assessment Report (SAR). For the previous NDC, we converted the 2030 BAU value from SAR to AR4 using a conversion factor for the last available data point (2014).

Current policy projections

There are no up to date emissions projections for the UAE. For our current policy projections, we estimate the impacts of the 2050 Energy Strategy on emissions with a range to reflect for uncertainties around the efficiency target and the development of coal.

We use IRENA’s Renewable Energy Prospects report as our basis for energy-related CO2 emissions and calculate the difference in emissions that would result from the 2050 Energy Strategy.

The upper end of our range reflects the installed capacity targets in the 2050 Energy Strategy (interpolated to 2030), without calculating the impacts of energy efficiency measures. The lower end of the projections includes both the installed capacity and efficiency targets. It also assumes that current coal capacity is phased out, no further capacity is added until 2030, and it if fully replaced by fossil gas capacity additions.

For CO2 process emissions (from industry), we continue a linear trend based on total industrial process emissions from the years 2010–2021 until 2030 (PRIMAP citation). For non-CO2 emissions, we apply the growth rate from the Global Anthropogenic Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions: 1990–2030 to PRIMAP historical data (US EPA, 2019).

We use the following data sources in our estimates:

  • Energy-related CO2 from fuel combustion: “Renewable Energy Prospects – United Arab Emirates” (Masdar Institute/IRENA, 2015)
  • CO2 process emissions (from industry): Own assumption to continue linear trend based on total industrial process emissions from the years 2010–2021 until 2030.
  • Non-CO2 emissions: Global Anthropogenic Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions: 1990–2030 (US EPA, 2019)
  • Historical installed capacity data: IRENA capacity and generation statistics 2022 (IRENA, 2022)
  • Historical electricity generation data: IEA World Energy Balances 2022 (IEA, 2022)

Historical emissions factors: IEA Emissions Factors 2021 (IEA, 2021a).

Global Warming Potentials values

The CAT uses Global Warming Potential (GWP) values from the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) for all its figures and time series.

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