The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) updated NDC sets an emissions reduction target of up to 23.5%, below business as usual by 2030. This translates to emissions of around 246 MtCO₂e/yr (excluding LULUCF) in 2030, which is 13% above its 2015 levels.
In contrast, the level of ambition required for a 1.5°C compatible emissions pathway is a 36-49% reduction by 2030 from 2015 levels, which translates to emissions of around 111-138 MtCO₂e/yr.
Under current policies, emissions are projected to increase by 29-40% above 2015 levels.
In 1.5°C compatible pathways, GHG emissions (excluding LULUCF) would need to reach a level of 18-30 MtCO₂e/yr, or 82-92% below 2015 levels by 2050. These emissions reductions would be driven primarily through the decarbonisation of the energy sector, but also waste and industry processes, which will likely be the last sectors to decarbonise.
On the road to net zero emissions, the UAE will need to balance its remaining GHG emissions through the development of carbon dioxide removal approaches, either from the land sector or technological approaches. Analysed pathways show that the power sector could contribute negative emissions of up to -40 MtCO₂/yr in 2050 mostly based on bioenergy from carbon capture and storage (BECCS). Achieving a high share of renewable generation would allow the country to rely less on CDR technologies, which are prohibitively expensive and not yet available at scale.