Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: The Directorate of Energy and Climate Change at the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs discussed the Gulf region’s transition to a new energy future today during a Sciences Po panel session held on the sidelines the 21st meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, France.

“The Paris climate conference presents opportunities for the Gulf region to capitalize on technological advancements to boost economic progress and protect the environment,” said H.E. Dr. Al Zeyoudi during his remarks. “Climate action aligns with the UAE’s strategy to diversify our economic and energy mix as we prepare for a new energy future.”

The panel discussion, titled “The Gulf: From oil era to the energetic and ecologic transition, what the future holds for the region?”, focused on climate actions taken by countries within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and how the potential climate agreement expected to be finalized at COP21 will impact the future energy landscape of these countries, including the UAE.   

“The UAE is taking a wide range of actions to address climate change and transition from a hydrocarbon-based economy to one that relies on knowledge and innovation,” said H.E. Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Permanent Representative to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Director of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Through Masdar, the region’s largest exporter of renewable energy based in Abu Dhabi, we are paving the way toward a clean energy future.”

The panel discussion gathered students studying sustainability and public policy. Other panelists included Sr. Giacomo Luciani, Dean of the Master International Energy at Sciences Po Paris, Mrs. Kate Dourian, Chief of the Middle East department at the International Energy Agency, and Sr. Jean Ballandras, General Secretary of Akuo Energy.

The event was held as world leaders continue to finalize an agreement on climate change during COP21. Outcomes of the negotiations are expected on December 11.