Net zero targets
We evaluate the net zero target as: Target information incomplete.
The UAE announced its intention to reach net zero by 2050 in October 2021 as part of the UAE Net Zero 2050 strategic initiative, becoming the first Middle Eastern and Gulf country to do so. To date, the announcement lacks information on scope, target architecture, and transparency. The emissions coverage remains unclear—the CAT currently assumes that only CO2 emissions are covered given the lack of details. As of early November 2021, the UAE has yet to submit a long-term strategy to the UNFCCC.
The government of the UAE lists renewable and nuclear energy as important components to reach the net zero target—however, it makes no mention of its plans to increase coal-fired power generation as part of its 2050 Energy Strategy.
The CAT does not yet evaluate the UAE’s net zero target given its preliminary nature and a lack of detailed information. We will do so once further information is available.
Ten key elements
- Target year – The UAE aims to reach net zero by 2050.
- Emissions coverage – The UAE has committed to net zero emissions by 2050, however, has not specified its emissions coverage. Alok Sharma, President of COP26, has referred to the UAE’s announcement as a “net zero carbon commitment”. For this reason, the CAT currently assumes the UAE’s target only covers CO2 emissions.
- International aviation and shipping – The UAE provides no information on its intention to cover international aviation and shipping.
- Reductions or removals outside of own borders – The UAE provides no information on its intention to use international offset credits to meet its net zero target.
- Legal status – The UAE announced its net zero target as part of the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative, but has neither included the target in a policy document nor enshrined the target in law. As of October 2020, the UAE has yet to submit a long-term strategy to the UNFCCC.
- Separate reduction & removal targets – The UAE provides no information on its intention to communicate separate emission reduction and removal targets.
- Review process – The UAE provides no information on its intention to establish a review cycle for its net zero and intermediate targets.
- Carbon dioxide removal – The UAE provides no information on its intention to communicate transparent assumptions on carbon dioxide removals.
- Comprehensive planning – The UAE has to date no comprehensive planning process on how it aims to achieve its net zero target, such as information on underlying pathways, detailed measures, and interim targets. The Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative refers to a larger-scale deployment of renewable and nuclear energy as a key pillar to achieve net zero by 2050. For this purpose, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has pledged around USD 160 billion in energy sector investments towards 2050. There is no mention about the planned expansion of coal-fired power generation under the 2050 Energy Strategy.
- Clarity on fairness of target – The UAE provides no information on its intention to explain the target’s fairness.
The Climate Action Tracker has defined the following good practice for all ten key elements of net zero targets. Countries can refer to this good practice to design or enhance their net zero targets.