16 April 2021
- Commitment to increasing renewable energy capacity will strengthen US relations following special climate envoy’s visit
- Sale of F-35s as part of US arms deal will now likely proceed due to improvements in UAE-Israeli relations, subject to final congressional approval
- Energy sector developments will continue to provide foreign direct investment opportunities in related sectors
US special envoy on climate, John Kerry, attended a regional climate dialogue hosted by the UAE in Abu Dhabi on 4 April. Attendees from across the region, including from Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Iraq and Sudan, also joined the conference, which marked Kerry’s first visit to the Middle East since his appointment to the special envoy role. The UAE and the US also released a joint statement on 5 April, pledging to work together to finance the decarbonisation of the economy. Separately, the US State Department announced on 13 April that it would proceed with the sale of over USD 23 billion worth of weapons – including F-35 jets – to the UAE, a deal that was initially agreed by the Trump administration.
While the UAE, and Abu Dhabi in particular, have a well-established oil sector, the country has taken a prominent role in advancing efforts to combat climate change and diversify energy sources away from hydrocarbons. Indeed, the UAE has set ambitious targets as part of this long-term goal, aiming to meet over 50% of its power requirements from such sources by 2050. It has already made considerable progress having built the largest…