The oil crisis has served as a “reality check” for many nations that believed they had made progress in transitioning away from fossil fuels, the UAE’s environment minister said.
Mariam Al Mheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment and Minister of State for Food Security, said the path to net zero carbon emissions was a long journey that takes dedication and huge spending.
The minister spoke on the second day of the World Government Summit at Expo 2020 Dubai, and was asked by former CNN anchor John Defterios about the impact of the Ukraine war and the broader oil crisis.
“What we’re experiencing right now, John, is as if we’ve switched off oil and gas,” Ms Al Mheiri said of the sudden shortages caused by European nations suspending use of Russian gas.
“Countries are coming to us saying to ‘produce more, do more because we’re not ready yet’.”
For most nations, she said, there was no alternative to continuing to use fossil fuels while renewables and nuclear were being ramped up.