The UAE attaches great importance to protecting the environment in its development policy. It has adopted this approach since 2012 by launching the ‘UAE Green Growth Strategy’, to transform the national economy into a green economy that adopts modern technologies, knowledge, and innovation in addition to reducing carbon emissions. The UAE has announced that the green and digital economy will become the starting point in the UAE for recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. The UAE’s wise leadership considers the green economy a tool to control economic growth and direct it towards sustainable development. IT also focuses on protecting the environment, climate, natural resources and improving quality of life. The UAE has won international leadership positions in the competitiveness indicators of the energy sector in general, and clean energy in particular, after seven international references agreed to classify it among the top 10 countries in the world with 18 sector-specific indicators in 2020.
Despite the major challenges and economic slowdown worldwide in 2020, renewable energy surfaced as a real alternative that heralds a better future. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) stated that production capacity from renewable energy in 2020 reached record levels surpassing past amounts and estimates. Some 260 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy were added globally, making around a 50% increase compared to the amount added in 2019. The renewable energy share has significantly increased for the second consecutive year, making 80% of the total generation capacity in the last year. Solar power and wind energy share made up 91% of this growth.
Global renewable energy capacity additions in 2020 beat earlier estimates and all previous records despite the economic slowdown last year. According to data released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) the world added more than 260 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity last year, exceeding expansion in 2019 by close to 50%. Renewable energy’s share of all new generating capacity rose considerably for the second year in a row. Approximately 80% of all new electricity capacity added last year was renewable, with solar and wind accounting for 91% of new renewables.
The UAE is a leading country in adopting effective policies such as the economic diversity policy which focuses on a green economy and diversifying energy sources. This is through capacity building in clean and renewable energy, enhancing energy efficiency, transport, and sustainable urban planning. The UAE was also at the forefront of regional countries in climate change policies since the Paris Agreement. In the beginning, it was committed to increasing its clean energy capacity to 24% by 2021. Later, this increased to 50% by 2050.