Today, during New York Climate Week, the establishment of the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators (UICCA) was announced. The UICCA is a non-partisan, climate action entity that will bring together members of the public and private sector, including academic institutions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to drive the UAE’s commitment towards net zero by 2050.  In the lead-up to the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28 UAE), which is set to take place in Dubai, the UICCA will establish an independent body that enables collaboration, cooperation and innovation. The UICCA, which will be led by Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, is set to become the first of its kind entity on a global scale. 

Under Sheikha Shamma’s direction and with the support of industry leaders and subject matter experts, the UICCA will operate as a think tank and predominantly focus on providing advice and recommendations to stakeholders on positive climate action that facilitates the transition to a green economy.  As per the guidelines laid out by the UN Environmental Programme, the green economy is “low carbon, resource-efficient and socially inclusive”, with social equity, wellbeing and minimal environmental risk at the heart of decision-making.  This transition will contribute to boosting GDP growth, increasing job creation, and reinforcing the UAE’s position as a global Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) hub and first-mover on climate action.

Sheikha Shamma, Executive Director of UICCA, commented: “It is an honour to be tasked, by the leadership of the UAE, with building and driving the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators.  Our goals as a nation are clear, and we have made significant headway towards implementing the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative – however, this is only our first milestone; it’s the synergies we create today that will allow us to live a more sustainable future, far beyond 2050.  The only way for us to do this is by enabling and energising an ecosystem that actively participates in realising one shared vision, and the UICCA is the nucleus that will bring this ecosystem to life.”

In addition to acting as a catalyst for a knowledge-based green economy and attracting global talent to the UAE’s sustainability sector, the accelerators will facilitate international business, innovation and technology partnerships that work towards the common goal of tackling climate change. The main sectors of focus will include electric mobility, sustainable fuels, energy efficiency, green buildings, smart cities, carbon capture and storage, nature-based solutions, and a growing AgTech and Climate Tech segment.