This article is part of a syndication service from Al-Monitor.
As the United Nations Climate Summit COP27 comes to a close this week in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh, the conference’s key aim of ensuring full adherence to the Paris Agreement is unlikely to be fulfilled. Since last year’s COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, “only 29 out of 194 countries [in the agreement] came forward with tightened national plans,” a UN press release stated.
Yet, while most members are making some efforts to cap climate change, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states have focused on the need for a two-pronged approach to climate — focusing on both oil and green energy — amid rising energy demand following the war in Ukraine and the nations’ reliance on energy exports as a mainstay of their economics.
Pointing out the impracticality of the climate goals laid out at last year’s summit, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., said that the lack of sufficient investment in fossil fuels before alternatives were able to meet the world’s energy needs is “a recipe for disaster.”
UAE energy company reckons Africa to be hydrogen hub
Hydrogen continues to be a major topic at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, aka COP27.
The Emirati renewable energy company Masdar released a report today on the potential of the African continent to become a hub for the generation of green hydrogen.
What is green hydrogen? Hydrogen can be used as an energy source when it is separated from water via electricity. When that electricity is powered by renewable energy, such as solar or wind power, it is referred to as green hydrogen.
Africa’s potential: Masdar identified several factors that indicate the potential of African countries to produce green hydrogen. The continent has an abundance of sunshine and land, as well as relative cost effectiveness vis-a-vis other areas.
The Abu Dhabi-based company, which is owned by the Emirati government, predicted that Africa could produce 30 to 60 million tons per year of green hydrogen by 2050. This would require between $680 billion and $1.3 trillion in investment, however. At present, Africa as a whole accounts for only about 3% of global hydrogen project announcements, according to Masdar’s report.
Masdar is not alone in its thinking. The DC-based Brookings Institution released a report in May noting Africa’s excellent solar and wind resources and hydropower potential along the Nile and Congo rivers. The report further noted that several European countries have expressed interest in developing Africa’s hydrogen sector.
Challenges: It will be difficult for Africa to become a hydrogen hub, however. The Brookings report also pointed out that more than half of Africa’s population does not have electricity. Hydrogen also requires water at a time of rising water scarcity in Africa. Moreover, maritime shipping of hydrogen would add to costs, according to Brookings.
Why it matters: Gulf states, including the UAE, are showing increasing interest in green hydrogen. In May, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company signed a green hydrogen cooperation agreement with British Petroleum.
Some of the Gulf’s hydrogen projects are in Africa. In October, Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power signed a green hydrogen deal with South Africa.
Egypt and Morocco have also shown a strong interest in green hydrogen. The Saudi company Alfanar pledged in August to start building a green hydrogen plant in Egypt.
Know more: Green hydrogen is a stated focus of COP27 this year. Egypt announced another green hydrogen project at the conference this week. At the same time, many more fossil fuel industry lobbyists are present at the conference this year than compared to last.
One year after @POTUS launched @AIMforClimate, today in Egypt at #COP27 the US and the UAE have announced that the initiative is increasing investment in climate-smart agriculture innovation by $8 billion, together with 40 government partners and 200+ non-gov. partners. pic.twitter.com/sfuk1a0RoJ
— Special Presidential Envoy John Kerry (@ClimateEnvoy) November 12, 2022
World’s tallest residential tower to be built in Dubai
Uniting their rich heritage and iconic architectural and horological codes, power brands Binghatti and Jacob & Co introduce their ultra-luxury Dubai skyscraper. The project, ‘Burj Binghatti Jacob & Co Residences’, aspires to achieve the record for the world’s tallest residential structure. Burj Binghatti Jacob & Co Residences coins a new term in upper-crust real estate: hypertower. Opening a new era in uber-luxury living, this unparalleled skyscraper aims to set a record as one of the tallest residential constructions in the world. In a great leap upwards, it stands opulently in the heart of Dubai’s most eminent financial district, Business Bay.
The proposed design comprises over 100 stories that are made of lavish two-bedroom and three-bedroom residences. This jewel of a building features unique designs co-signed by and co-designed in the recognizable style of watchmaking and jewelry brand Jacob & Co and leading Dubai-based developer Binghatti. Burj Binghatti Jacob & Co Residences includes multiple levels dedicated to such amenities as an infinity pool overlooking the entire Dubai skyline, a luxury spa and a gymnasium. This hypertower also houses a dedicated concierge team, offering à la carte services such as daycare, bodyguard, chauffeur and private chef.
“This unparalleled skyscraper aims to set a record as one of the tallest residential constructions in the world,” according to a Binghatti statement. In a great leap upwards, the property developer said ultra-luxury skyscraper will stand opulently in the heart of Dubai’s most eminent financial district, Business Bay. The proposed design comprises over 100 stories that are made of lavish two-bedroom and three-bedroom residences.
UAE sends emergency humanitarian aid to Somalia
The International Humanitarian City (IHC) has promptly responded and supported the World Health Organisation (WHO)in dispatching and transporting much-needed aid to Mogadishu, Somalia, following a deadly car bombing that claimed the lives of more than 120 people and injured at least 300 others.
A consignment including 38 metric tons of trauma kits and surgical equipment – valued at approximately USD 130,000 – was airlifted earlier today and will support first responders in the Somalian capital, helping alleviate the suffering of around 55,000 people due to the overwhelming effects of the car bombing.
Giuseppe Saba, CEO of IHC, said, “In line with the commitment and mandate of the IHC, the City responded to the request of the WHO to assist with the urgent dispatch of aid to Somalia. The IHC facilitated and funded the logistics and transportation cost, accounting for 60% of the total operation’s cost through its Global Humanitarian Impact Fund (GHIF). The GHIF mobilizes resources from the private and public sectors to swiftly respond to emerging humanitarian crises, affirming the role the IHC plays, leading from the front and enhancing global humanitarian preparedness.’’
Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, said, “As part of a broad United Nations response to the blasts in Mogadishu, the World Health Organization, in partnership with International Humanitarian City, is now delivering another 38 metric tons of trauma and emergency surgery medicines, infusions, and supplies to reinforce recovery efforts. On Saturday, WHO’s Logistics Hub in Dubai coordinated the first charter flight carrying supplies to treat approximately 2,500 patients for trauma and burn-related injuries. These additional supplies are critically needed to ensure that essential medicines and infusions are available in Mogadishu to care for blast victims and prevent further loss of life. Thanks to the support of the Dubai Government, the International Humanitarian City, and the Government of the UAE, WHO’s logistics hub in Dubai can rapidly respond to acute health emergencies around the world to deliver humanitarian aid to those in greatest need, in line with our collective Regional vision of “Health for all, by all.”
In 2022, Somalia was among the top 10 recipient countries to receive humanitarian aid from IHC members and partners, which in addition to the WHO, include other UN agencies and world-leading humanitarian organizations such as the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC). Founded in 2003, the IHC houses aid across its 140,000 sqm warehouses at a crossroads between the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and far East and South Asia, with assistance dispatched from the city reaching two-thirds of the world’s most vulnerable populations in about four hours.