Financial impact of inaction related to Net Zero $1.7 trillion by 2050
Gagan Porwal, Head of Partnerships – International Markets, Carbon Solutions, at GE Gas Power, estimated the potential financial impact of inaction related to Net Zero could see global GDP reduced by 17-18 percent within 70 years – or in true monetary terms, a negative impact of $1.7 trillion by 2050.
This took place on day two of the Middle East Energy 2023 (Intersolar), which is being held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from March 7 to 9, 2023.
This year marks the 48th edition of Middle East Energy, the region’s leading energy summit that explores plans and policies set to shape the region’s future energy outlook while educating an estimated 35,000 attendees on the state of play of the sector. This year’s show has attracted more than 900 energy suppliers, exhibiting across three separate conferences: Strategic, Technical, and Intersolar Middle East.
Read more: Al-Jaber calls on the oil and gas industry to up the game on climate change
For his part, Dr. Maged K Mahmoud, Technology Director, Lead Renewable Energy Advisor at Egypt’s Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, said “we should be ashamed” that the Arab World is home to 55 million citizens without electrical services, before outlining his four pillars to reach Net Zero: Electrify the economy, clean the carbon industry, address left-behind sectors of society, and build a hydrogen economy.
“Twenty years ago, I drafted a strategy that would see Egypt reach 20 percent sustainable energy by 2020,” Mahmoud said. “The notion was dismissed, but now we have achieved that target, despite two revolutions, COVID-19, and the Russia-Ukraine war,” Mahmoud added.
On day two of Intersolar, Parag Bhamre, a partner at EuPD Research & Joint Forces for Solar, provided an outlook on the MENA solar market, stating that the high risks of and heightened attention on climate change are forcing global governments to transition towards renewable energy.
“Global energy requires a coordinated global shift in both the supply and demand from fossil fuels to cleaner energy,” he said. “However, the transition in the MENA region is more acute than in other parts of the world as it entails transitional risks such as loss of export earnings from fossil fuels, macroeconomic instability, and stranded assets.
“On the other hand, if the region does not transition quickly enough, it is at the risk of warming rapidly, with the risk of water resources dwindling, creating water stress – a real issue. To tackle climate change, the MENA markets have set ambitious renewable energy targets setting the region up for explosive growth in the renewables space, particularly solar.”
According to Bhamre, the UAE has taken the lead in the region’s transition towards renewables: “With the country in sharp focus as it prepares to host COP28 later this year, the UAE National Energy Strategy 2050 has set a target to increase its renewable energy share in its energy mix to 44 percent by 2050, of which solar PV is expected to contribute 18 percent. Dubai also aims to increase the share of clean and renewable energy in its energy mix to 25 percent by 2030, and 75 percent by 2050.”
11-year-old climate change activist Licypriya Kangujam
Moreover, eleven-year-old climate change activist Licypriya Kangujam delivered a passionate plea in front of industry leaders and attendees at Middle East Energy. Kangujam who managed through her ‘Monday for Mother Nature’ initiative to plant 350,000 trees across India, called on leaders and governments to “change the system” by immediately taking three key actions: Pass climate change laws that will help control carbon emissions and greenhouse gases; make climate education mandatory on school curriculums; and force every student in the world to plant 10 trees per year to pass their finals exams.
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