Dubai – MENA Herald: In recognition of its active engagement and leadership in addressing energy security and climate change mitigation, the United Arab Emirates today attended a meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF), to discuss mobilizing action in the wake of the COP 21 climate agreement, due to be formalized in Paris, in December.

The UAE delegation to the two-day forum, held on the side-lines of the 70th United Nations General Assembly, was led by His Excellency Dr Sultan Al Jaber, United Arab Emirates Minister of State and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change. Representatives from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States also attended the meeting.

Dr Al Jaber said: “Moving to a clean energy economy provides an opportunity to promote continued economic growth and sustainable development as part of a vigorous response to the challenges posed by climate change. In common with the MEF, we have identified an urgent need for the deployment of clean energy technologies at the lowest possible cost, to drive transformational progress.

“The UAE’s participation, alongside 17 of the world’s leading economies, is a testament to the country’s commitment to sustainable development, and its leadership in the deployment of the clean energy technologies necessary to mitigate climate change.”

Discussions at the Forum focused on a number of important issues that, it is hoped, will be resolved ahead of the COP 21 meeting. These issues include the contribution of developed nations and developing nations to the mitigation of climate change; the scope of the climate agreement and whether or not it should include an additional long term goal beyond limiting global warming to less than 2C; and how to finance the climate related projects, including enhancing developing nations access to climate-friendly investment.

The MEF’s New York meeting was the third to be held this year. Previous meetings have taken place in Washington D.C. and Luxembourg. A fourth meeting is scheduled to take place in November.

The UAE has rapidly emerged as a leading investor in clean energy technologies, one of the key strategies to mitigating climate change. This has included investments in solar power such as the Shams 1 solar plant in Abu Dhabi and the Mohamed Bin Rashid Solar Park in Dubai. Other measures include the introduction of energy efficiency standards; the establishment of world-class research centers such as the Masdar Institute and the development of carbon capture and storage technologies to allow the use of fossil fuels while capturing the resulting emissions underground.

Launched in 2009, the MEF is intended to facilitate a candid dialogue among major developed and developing economies, help generate the political leadership necessary to achieve a successful outcome at the annual UN climate negotiations, and advance the exploration of concrete initiatives and joint ventures that increase the supply of clean energy while cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

The Forum is not an alternative to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change process, but is intended to inform and complement and make a major contribution to success in the UN negotiations aimed at achieving a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world.