1 of 2 | An oil company in the United Arab Emirates, a member of OPEC and host to this year's climate summit, said it moved its target for a net-zero economy from 2050 to 2045. File photo by Mohamed Messara/EPA-EFE
July 31 (UPI) -- The largest oil producer in the United Arab Emirates, which hosts this year's annual U.N.-backed climate summit, on Monday moved the goal post for a net-zero economy ahead by five years.
During a meeting of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhab revised the forecast for a net-zero emissions economy from 2050 to 2045 and announced plans to cut emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, to zero by 2030
"ADNOC is the first company in its peer group to accelerate its net zero target to 2045," the company said in a statement.
Oil is a major component of the economy for the UAE. Economists at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, of which the UAE is a member, said the oil sector remains strong, with the economy getting an extra boost from a surge in travel and tourism.
But at an average of 2.9 million barrels per day in production last month, the UAE remains OPEC's third-largest production in the group behind Iraq.
The nation's status as a major oil producer prompted criticism when it was selected in January to host the November climate summit, COP28.
At the time, Tasneem Essop, the executive director of Climate Action Network International called on ADNOC CEO Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber to step down if he sought to lead the summit.
Amid concerns of "greenwashing," ADNOC, however, said its new climate objectives announced Monday mark a "new chapter" in the company's trajectory. Last year, it said, it cut greenhouse gas emissions substantially by using solar and nuclear power to support onshore oil and gas production operations.
It's already claimed an initial $15 billion to facilitate the development of decarbonization project, such as carbon capture and storage projects as well as improvements in energy efficiency.
"Over the coming months, the company will announce further investments and associated projects that will enable it to meet its updated ambitious decarbonization targets," it said.