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UAE state oil firm brings net zero climate target forward to 2045

The headquarters of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (Kamran Jebreili/AP/PA)
The headquarters of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (Kamran Jebreili/AP/PA) The headquarters of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (Kamran Jebreili/AP/PA)

A state-run oil giant in the United Arab Emirates has said it has moved up its target for achieving net zero emissions in its operations to 2045, as the country prepares to host UN climate talks later this year.

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, known as Adnoc, said it is also committed to achieving zero methane emissions by 2030.

Earlier this year, Adnoc earmarked 15 billion dollars (£11.7 billion) for an array of green initiatives, including the development of hydrogen power, carbon capture facilities and the planting of mangroves.

The company had previously committed to achieving net zero by 2050.

The UAE, an Opec member that produces more than three million barrels of crude oil a day, will host the global climate talks known as COP28 from November 30 to December 12 in Dubai.

Climate Talks
Climate Talks Designated UN conference president Sultan al-Jaber attends the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Germany in June (Martin Meissner/AP/PA)

It has appointed Sultan al-Jaber, the head of Adnoc, to chair the meeting, a move that drew criticism from some environmentalists.

He has emphasised the need to cut emissions, rather than end fossil fuel use itself.

It has prompted fears that he might seek loopholes for untested carbon-capture technologies and so-called offsets that experts say distract from the need to end the release of greenhouse gases.

Governments agreed eight years ago in Paris to limit global warming to 2C — ideally no more than 1.5C.

With average global temperatures already about 1.2C above pre-industrial levels, experts say the window to meet the more ambitious target is closing fast and even the less stringent goal would be missed if emissions are not slashed sharply soon.

The UAE, a global hub for business and tourism, has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050 — a target that remains difficult to assess. Analysts believe the Emirates is trying to maximise its profits as the world turns to renewables.