ABU DHABI: A webinar with the goal of fostering closer ties on climate change issues between the EU and the Gulf Cooperation Council has been held ahead of COP27, the Emirates News Agency has reported.
The event was called EU-GCC Webinar on Energy Efficiency in the Building Sector: A Key Driver for Net-Decarbonization, and drew about 100 European and Gulf policymakers and private sector representatives.
The experts addressed the current debate around climate change, challenges of energy efficiency in the building sector, and the necessary strategies, policies and regulations to facilitate energy efficiency.
They also discussed investment and finance, business models in the energy efficiency sector, and the need for local and global sustainable growth and development.
Focusing on energy efficiency as a critical driver toward decarbonization in the sector, the event called for collective action through quick, cross-sectoral and human-centered interventions.
Participants presented practical solutions to issues such as low energy efficiency and chronic reliance on fuel subsidies, and discussed the role of clean energy in cost-effective energy consumption.
EU Ambassador to the UAE Andrea Matteo Fontana said: “The EU is fully engaged in climate action globally and has set the ambitious goal of becoming the world’s first climate neutral continent by 2050.
“To this end, we have set legally binding targets for ourselves (including intermediary targets for 2030), which require all public and private sector stakeholders to work together.
“Maximizing energy efficiency in the building sector is an important pillar of the green energy transition and we look forward to working with our Emirati and Gulf partners to drive the decarbonisation agenda forward.”
Director of Energy, Secretariat General of the GCC Mohamed Al-Rashidi said: “The GCC countries are embarking on a clean energy transition pathway, which targets more sustainable, efficient and cost-effective methods for using energy.
“We are witnessing a real change happening in the region, with exciting visions and ambitious projects launched. This creates an attractive environment for the GCC and EU entities to be partners in this endeavor.”
Efficiency and renewables are the main pillars for any green energy transition. Both policies offer 90 percent of the energy-related carbon dioxide emission reductions that are required through safe, affordable and readily available technologies.
The EU issued its Joint Communication on a Strategic Partnership with the Gulf in May, which aimed to expand EU-GCC bilateral cooperation. The communication presented concrete proposals to strengthen cooperation on energy, green transition and climate change, trade and economic diversification, regional stability and global security, humanitarian and development challenges, and closer people-to-people contacts.