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UAE strengthens support for Global Flaring and Methane Reduction Partnership

UAE strengthens support for Global Flaring and Methane Reduction Partnership
7 June 2024 23:17


The UAE's Ministry of Foreign Affairs delegation has participated in the inaugural Steering Committee meeting of the Global Flaring and Methane Reduction Partnership (GFMR) held on June 5 - 6, in Oslo, Norway.

The GFMR Partnership, a multi-donor trust fund, is focused on supporting developing countries' efforts to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. Launched by the World Bank in collaboration with COP28 on December 2, 2023, the fund has received a significant pledge of $100 million from the UAE to support its activities.

Abdulla Balalaa, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Energy and Sustainability Affairs, led the UAE delegation at the first Steering Committee (SC) meeting, co-hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway and Equinor.

The meeting marked a significant milestone in operationalising the fund and initiating its activities. The SC comprises representatives from donating companies and countries.

In his opening remarks, Balalaa emphasised the UAE's commitment to global cooperation in accelerating the energy transition, stating, "The UAE is committed to cooperating with all nations in accelerating the energy transition keeping 1.5 alive. The launch of the Global Flaring and Methane Reduction Partnership was one of many major outcomes from COP28, and the fund will play a key role in addressing the urgent methane emissions challenge by providing comprehensive financing, capacity building, and technical solutions to developing nations."

Global Methane Challenge

Methane is the second-highest contributor to global warming, accounting for nearly one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions. Beyond agriculture, the energy sector is a major source of methane emissions. The GFMR trust fund, launched at COP28 during the "Methane and Non-CO2 GHGs Summit" on 2nd December 2023, aims to accelerate the reduction of methane emissions from oil and gas operations in developing nations. The UAE's contribution of $100 million underscores its commitment to this cause, alongside efforts to rally additional support from governments and international oil and gas companies.

UAE's Legacy in Combating Methane Emissions

Highlighting the UAE's longstanding commitment to reducing methane emissions, Balalaa noted, "Tackling methane flaring has always been a priority for the UAE leadership. In 1978, the founding father the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, passed Law No. 8 to regulate oil and gas operations, banning routine flaring and preventing air and water pollution. The law requires the industry to use the most reliable technological methods, equipment, and materials that adhere to international standards, both in safety and efficiency."

Call to Action

Concluding his remarks, Balalaa stated, “The COP28 Presidency co-hosted high-level events on Methane and Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases to elevate the profile of these highly potent gases. Accordingly, the UAE Consensus adopted at COP28 by all parties calls for accelerating and substantially reducing non-carbon-dioxide emissions globally, including in particular methane emissions by 2030. I take this opportunity to call on all stakeholders to take tangible actions to accelerate the elimination of methane emissions in this decade to keep 1.5 alive.”

Next Steps for GFMR

The Steering Committee identified key priorities for 2024 and shortlisted opportunities to be advanced by COP29. The SC agreed to establish a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to provide technical and financial expertise to support the decision-making process. The GFMR will collaborate with global initiatives addressing methane emissions to leverage existing intellectual resources and accelerate implementation.

Notably, the GFMR is a key platform complementing the UAE's efforts in tackling global methane emissions. At COP28, the UAE launched the Oil and Gas Decarbonisation Charter (OGDC) with a primary focus on eliminating methane emissions by 2030. More than 50 oil and gas companies, representing 40 percent of global oil production, committed to the OGDC.

Source: WAM
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