DUBAI, May 11th, 2023 (WAM) — Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, participated in a series of bilateral meetings and panel discussions organised in collaboration between the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the UAE Embassy in Washington DC, USA. The goal was to highlight the importance of strengthening Emirati-American relations and expanding cooperation in investment, food security, agricultural innovation, climate change solutions, and other vital areas of cooperation between the two countries, such as sustainable financing.
Her participation in these discussions and meetings was part of her recent visit to the US capital, where she attended the three-day Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate summit (AIM for Climate). The summit also saw the attendance of high-profile figures such as Tom Vilsack, the US Secretary of Agriculture, John Kerry, the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, along with many ministers and representatives from various governmental and non-governmental organisations engaged in the AIM for Climate initiative.
Almheiri participated in a panel discussion with a group of representatives from the US-UAE Business Council and representatives from various vital American sectors working in aviation, insurance, banks, entertainment sector companies, and various companies operating in the American agriculture and food sector. This was in addition to another session in cooperation with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and a series of related bilateral meetings.
Almheiri said: “Emirati-American relations are continuously developing in various fields, especially food security and cooperation in combating climate change, investment, sustainable financing, and other important areas. This represents an opportunity for us to expand this cooperation by enhancing our support for the joint ‘Agriculture Innovation for Climate’ summit, which has achieved great successes in the two years since its launch to encourage countries to commit to investing in agricultural innovations to enhance food security on the one hand, and reduce emissions resulting from all operations related to the agriculture sector on the other hand.”
She added: “This orientation invites us to expand the scope of our cooperation with the American side by meeting many officials and entities, discussing ways of cooperation with them, exchanging our experiences and visions, and benefiting from the latest related insights. We thank the UAE Embassy for cooperating in organising many of these meetings and working with us to achieve all our common goals in enhancing the UAE’s position as a trusted partner in finding solutions to various global challenges.”
On his part, Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the United States, said: “Climate change is having a big impact on how we grow and produce our food. The UAE and US are leading a global effort to meet this challenge. We are mobilizing governments, the private sector and civil society to enhance food security and make farming and food production more friendly to the planet.”
Productive Meetings and Discussions
The UAE Embassy in Washington DC organised a panel discussion that brought together HE Mariam Almheiri and representatives from the US-UAE Business Council, various vital American sectors operating in aviation, insurance, banking, entertainment industry companies, and various companies in the American agriculture and food sector.
She showcased the UAE’s investment capabilities, ease of doing business, and the size of reciprocal investment between the UAE and the US, especially in the food sector. She also exchanged visions on the investment landscape in the two countries and the areas through which progress can be made in terms of investments and sustainable financing in the coming period.
In the session, HE Almheiri advocated for heightened American investments in the UAE. She underscored the potential that her country presents for businesses in technology and, specifically, agricultural innovations. This is spurred by the UAE’s challenges, such as water scarcity and limited agricultural land. She highlighted that modern agricultural technology is crucial for attracting foreign investments to the UAE, given its aspirations to bolster its food security, implement technology that reduces the agricultural sector’s carbon footprint, and fulfil its climate obligations.
HE Mariam Almheiri also participated in a special session organised by the UAE Embassy in Washington DC, in collaboration with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). This session included a group of policy experts in the field of food security, where she highlighted the UAE’s commitment to enhancing dialogue and cooperation regarding climate change and food security. This is part of its global commitment, especially with the UAE’s preparations to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP28 in November.
Furthermore, she shed light on the UAE’s devotion to sustainable development and climate action. She referred to the UAE’s pioneering initiatives, such as the National Food Security Strategy 2051, the UAE’s Water Security Strategy 2036, and the nationally determined contributions submitted by the UAE to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. These efforts form part of the UAE’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement and other policies that ensure the attainment of emission reduction goals as part of the climate neutrality strategy by 2050. She also emphasised the UAE’s efforts in bolstering biodiversity and implementing key regulations to ensure economic sectors adhere to environmental and climate standards.
HE Almheiri affirmed the UAE’s ambition to establish a leading global position in innovation-driven food security by 2051. She emphasised the necessity of facilitating global agricultural trade, diversifying international food sources, and strengthening the local production of sustainable, technology-based food.
Almheiri also attended bilateral meetings with various officials and high-profile individuals. These meetings focused on enhancing cooperation in areas such as agricultural innovation, bolstering food security and its role in combating climate change, among other areas like investment and financing.
The discussions included a special meeting between Almheiri and John Kerry, another meeting with Dr Cary Fowler, the US Special Envoy for Food Security, and a bilateral meeting with Ambassador Katherine Tai, the US Trade Representative. She also met with US Senator Michael Bennet and concluded with a meeting with US Senator Jay Costa.