A Conversation With Dr. Sultan Al Jaber
holds many titles recently. Doctor Soltan was also named to be the U. S special envoy on climate Change. Relevant topic for what we're going to be discussing today. Welcome, Your Excellency. It is great to see you, even if just virtually.
In fact, I believe the last time we saw each other was at this global energy form in Abu Dhabi last year. As I just said, you've recently been named special on Warren Climate Change and the U A just announced its second and D. C. What is the U. S approach to contributing to the global effort to
overcome the challenge of climate change? No, I was, uh I'm very happy to see you on to speak to you. Let me just say hello toe. Everyone participating at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum.
Ah, on Allow me also to say, uh, welcome to everybody participating, and this is forum from around the world and in particular our friends on the United States. Now, uh, back to your question, Uh, Those who know that you ate on that those who know you the way well. No. One that we have always made a positive contribution toe helping address global challenges.
On the challenge of climate change is no different. This is exactly the narrative or the ethos that guided us to launch must are about 15 years ago as a clean technology hub. That today, Ises the permanent home off the international Renewable Energy Agency idea.
I must not today has also become a true global investor. A renewable energy globally and more than 30 countries. Muster is already physically present through large investments by scaling up renewable Angie Technologies and investing In scaring off those technologies and helping bring the cost down. Uh, We not only talk the talk, we walk the walk.
And we have seen firsthand how smart investment and diversifying the energy mix can pay off. When we started must daughter 15 years ago solar and went We're High cost. Nascent energy sources. But today they are very cost competitive. In fact, We just set a new record for low cost. So the energy at the world's largest solar
park here Anna Bolivia and at a Buffalo region With a tariff of 1.35 cents per kilowatt hour. We were the first country in the region to sign the Paris accords on the NBC. That we submitted last month.
This makes us the first country in the region to commit to an economy wide emission reduction. Our approach to climate change reflects our leaderships dedication to addressing global challenges. On. We do this in close partnership with international community
and with all kind of partners from all over the world. And we believe That partnership not just between countries but between industries, including the oil and gas industry. Is actually crucial to achieving our collective climate goal. Climate, climate objectives on climate change goals. That was some time Let me Pick up on something that you just talked about. You've been at the forefront as you said of promoting renewable energy, not just you eat. But you personally have been at that forefront
through your leadership of master and you and I met when you were, uh And you're the early years of your charming mask Dark In fact, I remember in the spring of 2016. I toured mass dart together with then Vice President Biden tomorrow about to become President Biden. And we received a tour from you. And later that evening in a small dinner with his Highness Sheikh Mohammed. We
talked about what you just talked about right now. You Take Mohammed asked you to brief them vice president on the role of U A E and the ability to see the importance of climate change, and the role that you ate, was already then playing. Through mass tar and advanced technologies. And over the last four years. In addition to sharing mass Darr, you've
also been the CEO of ADNOC. And I was wondering if you could share with us How you see those roles, aligning. You just touched on that In your last answer about the role of the willing gas industry. How do you see those roles? Aligning, Especially now as you come to the global stage as the U, a climate change, special envoy Almost. I remember that visit by the incoming president by them so well.
It actually feels like if it happens on it happened only a few days ago. I remember in particular how important sustainable development and sustainability in general Was to the incoming president. I'd remember how engaging Hey, Woz, And I remember also the type of questions. Hey, was he was asking
It is clear how much focus he intends to give to climate change a spark of his agenda. Andre? Yes, I was very honored to have had the opportunity to share with him. How we approach this issues here in the way And it was also very pleased.
Have the opportunity to give him Firsthand practical examples off what we are doing. Through must are on the many other initiatives here on the Emirates. Now getting back to your question. You asked me about How these roles in a way fit together on. I'm glad, almost like you asked me this question, because I know That crosses many people's minds. Uh, it is firstly.
A great honor that I have been appointed by my leadership to take on the climate envoy role for the second time after previously serving and this capacity between 2010 and 2015. Since then, a zoo rightly point out I have assumed the role off the group chief executive at the ability National oil Company. And rather than being in conflict, I believe Working across the energy mix has given me a deeper understanding off the entire Energy system. And based on this, it is clear that the hydrocarbon industry simply has to be at the center.
Over the conversation on climate change. And most importantly, oil and gas has to play our own to be part off the solution. And the factors The world will still rely on oil and gas for many decades to come. So this industry, the oil and gas industry can and must play an important role and the transition to a lower carbon future.
Here. The way he has a dual advantage. Leadership that has always put environmental stewardship on environmental protection protection first And the natural advantage because our geology gives us some off the least carbon intensive oil in the world. We're building on this position by reducing our carbon intensity by a further 25% over the next 10 years. We're doing this by enhancing efficiencies and expanding our industrial scale carbon capture and storage facility. Which is known to be the first on the largest in our region.
In addition, We are exploring the potential of new fuels such as hydrogen, which could be a game changer on the energy transition. We already here in Latnok produce about 300,000 tons of hundreds in a year as part of our current industrial processes. We are currently exploring the viability of markets in Asia and in Europe.
Aziz. Those markets progress and develop. We will build the business case that could position us Ah, well beyond the way as a major player on his major supplier off blue hydrogen. Worldwide. It is very early days through, uh, But with the right regulated framework, I believe There is significant potential and hydrogen energy. That is sometimes you just talked about some of the efforts by by the U A. E and the
ended Advanced technology around the renewable energy and was wondering as we come into a new administration here. The United States with President Biden and vice president elect Harris and this the focus that you just talked about that you saw from from President elect Biden when he was in master has just increased over, though the years since that visit Uh, So with this focus, and you'll be working with John Kerry, the former secretary of state, John Kerry, now as the Z envoy, Um how do you see the opportunities for collaboration specifically between the U A E and the United States on all these areas that you just discuss that you're doing from the U. A E. What are the areas of cooperation and collaboration? That you see possible in the near future, As you know, almost the U A. On the U. S have a deep rooted Very strong.
Longstanding relationship based on shared values. On strategic interests. The relationship. Between the USA and the U. S. Is multi faceted covering diplomacy, politics, security, energy trade technology investments. Investments in different areas, private equity partnerships and investments off course culture on health care.
In short, we are very aligned on many, many areas such as promoting peace. Creating opportunity. And enabling progressive prosperity.
The Abraham. A court is a very good example. In fact, it's a prime example. With U S diplomatic support. We created a bridge for the first time between Israel and the Gulf countries.
And this agreement in particular is already creating economic opportunity for the whole region. Our strategic energy alliance with the U. S is already very strong. And as you know, the U. S was instrumental in bringing peaceful nuclear energy to the way as part of the wanted 123 agreement.
And as both our countries emerge from the pandemic, I believe there are great Opportunities for collaboration across the energy sector on I'm sure across a variety off many other sectors, starting the with energy, starting the with energy, Thomas Uh, You know, we have many concessions on exploration partnerships with many U S companies, including Exxon Oxy, Baker Hughes, Uh, just to name a few And the knees term there is room For deepening the surgeon cooperation around unconventional oil and gas. Which we are currently progressing and discovering here and and Willoughby and it's very, very promising and would provide a very special, unique opportunity for American companies to explore such a partnership of 14. It is with us. And there are, of course, very clear opportunities to build on our cooperation and efficiency and hasn't technologies and new energies such as hydrogen.
Carbon capture and storage and, of course, renewable energies. It's very high on our agenda, and I'm sure there will be many areas of cooperation in the field of renewable energy and the mitigation of climate change. Outside of energy on as our economy diversifies. I see significant potential for investment and our image emerging Industrial sectors. Manufacturing
biotech health care. Agriculture. Uh, we've seen recently many U. S private equity firms.
Discover the we as a stable, well governed, well established, business friendly investment destination on we welcome that are we look for more opportunities like those In addition, we would like to see more collaboration. On artificial intelligence, Advanced technologies. We would like to see us expand our cooperation between the embassy. We are university Hamad Bin Zayed University for artificial
intelligence. It is the first of its kind. Homegrown graduate level research driven very much focused on artificial intelligence, digitization and machine learning. That could be a very unique opportunity for true long term strategic partnership and a very important field. Like a I In short. There is no shortage of great opportunities. Great opportunities
for investors from the US to explore here on I know that these investment opportunities will For great returns. While also making sure that they are they provide practical progress on helping address global challenges. Thank you, and I think that that also demonstrates your ability to lead on many of these areas as both in the energy field on both the oil and gas, the climate as well as in the ministry. Of industry and technology Vance technology, But let me turn to another area of potentially of cooperation that will be needed. Not just with the U. S. But on a global stage.
If you think about the cop negotiations, the cop 26 negotiations upcoming in Glasgow. Which are the most consequential since Paris. This summit comes as the world is not only united as never before, on climate change and the ability the need to come together to address this crisis, But also the world is coming out, hopefully coming out or potentially seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of coming out of The global pandemic and Kobe 19. In that pandemic as we recover from it. We also see the haves and the have nots. The
separation between countries as economically as we come through this deepen how should the industrial world balance those needs of economic development? On the basic needs to be able to supply their own people with necessary needs in the emerging economies, with the need for a global and universal climate change action. The cover. The experience has shown us that when humanity comes together There is no challenge.
We can't overcome. And While covered on climate change are two very different challenges. They have three factors in common. They are both global. They respect no borders.
And the required a collective United response. And just As we have with covered. The way will lead. As a responsible global citizen. And it will use its convening power to help advance global progress when it comes to addressing climate change.
Great example. Aside from abalone sustainability week itself is the upcoming Dubai export. Which would be the first expo hosted in our region. It will be focused on uniting the world around equitable solutions to sustainable development. In fact, the sustainability pavilion was only opened yesterday. And hopefully when you come soon to the way You'll be able to visit the export side on. I know for a fact that
something you should see an experience. And to get back to your specific question about balancing the needs off emerging economies with climate action. I find this to be A very important question. In fact, it is a critical question. I fundamentally believe that we can achieve climate goals while ensuring economic progress.
If we avoid one size fits all policies. We need to adopt a custom tailored approach for each region and we need to always strike a balance. Did you think carbon is something we can all agree is a common goal but should not undermine the ability off emerging economies to give their people Better future and to ensure a progressive, stable economic growth, for instance. Africa should not be forced to pay the price for the industrial revolution that helped mature economies to get to the level off development they enjoy today. We need to create the right mechanism in terms of funding. Energy mix on the broader economic development that strikes that right balance.
So I am very much looking forward to cop 26. I know for a fact they way will play an important role. I know for a fact that they we again will play a proactive any productive progressive. Role and helping achieve the global objectives on addressing such a global challenge and addressing climate change. Thank you, doctor. So don, I think that Um from cooperation between our two countries and cooperation of our two countries with the rest of the world. I hope we can achieve some of the goals that are so so needed right now to address not only climate change, but to do it as you just talked about in a way that enables the whole world.
To battle climate change in the best way that they can. We've come to the end of our time I could have continued all day and I think everybody listening to you could continue all day to listen to how to thread this needle that you are that you are tasked with, um But I know that we have a great agenda coming forward in the in the Forum I thank you for taking the time to be with us today and for the opportunity being conversation with you today. Thank you very much. Almost. And they want to thank everyone at the Atlantic Council for such an instrumental work, and I thank them for the opportunity and I look forward to seeing you all in person and the very near future. Please stay safe. Thank you.
Wow. What a powerful start. Thank you, Dr Soltan. Thank you. Almost, um Dr Soltan. Those were wonderful photos of vice President Biden, then Vice President Biden President elect Biden, Abu Dhabi.