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U.S.-UAE agree to major renewable energy package

Both parties envision billions of dollars in new investments under the arrangement.

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U.S. Special Presidential Coordinator Amos Hochstein (front L) and UAE's special envoy for climate change Sultan al-Jaber sign the Partnership for Accelerating Clean Energy MOU on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi, UAE, while Brett McGurk, White House coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, and UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan look on. Photo courtesy of Office of the UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change/Twitter
U.S. Special Presidential Coordinator Amos Hochstein (front L) and UAE's special envoy for climate change Sultan al-Jaber sign the Partnership for Accelerating Clean Energy MOU on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi, UAE, while Brett McGurk, White House coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, and UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan look on. Photo courtesy of Office of the UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change/Twitter

Nov. 1 (UPI) -- The United States and the United Arab Emirates entered a new partnership Tuesday that the White House said aims to create $100 billion in investments that would support as much as 100 gigawatts of clean energy projects.

U.S. delegates in the UAE for the annual Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, which runs through Thursday, spoke Monday about the importance of capital flows toward renewable energy.

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On Tuesday, the U.S. government unveiled its new partnership with the UAE, dubbed the Partnership for Accelerating Clean Energy, or PACE. Through the clean-energy framework, both sides aim to draw in $100 billion in financing for renewable energy.

"Through PACE, the U.S. and UAE will focus on the scalable development of low-emission energy sources, with the goal of deploying 100 gigawatts of clean energy globally by 2035," White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

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PACE is focused on clean energy, carbon and methane abatement programs, nuclear energy and the decarbonization of both the industrial and transportation sectors. Both sides will form a panel of experts to identify and prioritize which projects will be included in the 100 GW goal.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken described the agreement as one that further deepens the two countries' strategic relationship and reflects the United States' commitment to promoting economic prosperity, security and stability in the Middle East.

"This memorandum of understanding is an important step forward in our joint efforts to accelerate our collective movement toward clean energy," the United States' top diplomat said in a statement.

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UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was on hand for the signing of the MOU by Sultan al-Jaber, the UAE's special envoy for climate change and the head of the UAE's state-run oil company, and U.S. Special Presidential Coordinator Amos Hochstein.

"I was delighted to witness the launch of the Partnership for Accelerating Clean Energy, which aims to ensure energy security, support climate action and drive sustainable development for out tow nations and the world," he said in a statement.

The announcement came one day after the U.S. federal government opened up two areas in the Gulf of Mexico for would-be wind energy developers. The United States is far behind the rest of the world in terms of wind energy, but U.S. President Joe Biden aims to more than double the existing offshore capacity by 2030.

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Both countries, meanwhile, are global leaders in the production of crude oil and natural gas. The UAE, however, said it has invested more than $50 million over the last decade on global clean energy programs. It already hosts some of the largest solar projects in the world.

Next year, the UAE will host the annual environmental summit of the United Nations, the so-called COPs. Given that, al-Jaber said it makes sense to partner up with the United States, which boasts the largest economy in the world.

"The UAE-U.S. Partnership for Accelerating Clean Energy will enable climate action while enhancing global energy security and afford ability for the people of the UAE, the U.S. and nations around the world," he was quoted in the state-run news agency WAM.

Delegates from both countries are headed to Egypt for COP27, which runs from Nov. 6-18.

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