UAE Hosts Landmark Event to Pioneer Carbon Removal Strategies

UAE Hosts Landmark Event to Pioneer Carbon Removal Strategies

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, March 1, 2024 — In a stride towards environmental sustainability and technological innovation, the Bridge Institute, UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators (UICCA), and the Carbon Gap co-hosted a unique three-day event from February 27th to 29th, 2024. The initiative, central in advancing Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) strategies within the United Arab Emirates, signifies a crucial advancement in the nation's ambitions to not only meet but exceed its climate action objectives.

Uniting a global assembly of experts and stakeholders, the UAE CDR Breakthrough Event fostered a vibrant platform for the exchange of insights and strategies. This collaborative effort aimed at co-developing a groundbreaking blueprint to transform carbon removal initiatives in the UAE, utilizing the country’s distinct natural and scientific assets.

Participants from various sectors including finance, business, insurance, energy, academia, and government engaged in focused discussions. The dialogues centered around leveraging the UAE's resources—such as mineral and biomass stocks, oceanic characteristics, and energy capabilities—to pinpoint scalable and impactful solutions.

The event had significant involvement from members of the UAE Carbon Alliance, with the UICCA acting as its secretariat. This coalition brings together private-sector stakeholders dedicated to fostering the growth of a high-integrity carbon market within the UAE.
Focusing on the strategic question, "How can the UAE develop a world-leading strategy for Carbon Dioxide Removal?", the sessions explored ten critical streams using The Breakthrough Hourglass methodology, designed for transformative system changes, covering carbon markets, policy, financing, societal engagement, and various CDR solutions including Direct Air Capture, Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage, and nature-based solutions. As the event concluded, the collective efforts laid a foundation for significant environmental and economic advancements.

Her Highness Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, President and CEO of UICCA, reflecting on the event's success, stated, “The UAE is at the forefront of demonstrating how innovation and multi-sectoral collaboration can significantly advance carbon dioxide removal and climate change adaptation.” She added, “Being selected as one of three countries to lead CDR strategies highlights our role as pioneers in environmental innovation and our collective efforts aim to create a framework of best practices that will inspire global progress in the field.”

Simon McKenzie (Mac), CEO of Bridge Institute, stressed that atmospheric carbon removal is essential for achieving net zero, serving as the "net" in net zero. “Without it, stabilizing the climate would not be possible. The UAE's focus on this crucial aspect of climate strategy highlights its role as a global leader in environmental sustainability and innovation,” he said.

Tim Kruger, Chair of Carbon Gap’s Advisory Board welcomed the output from the meeting. “The UAE has enormous potential in carbon dioxide removal. This emerging field is essential to achieving the world’s climate goals, while at the same time represents a huge economic opportunity for the UAE. We are delighted to be working with such a dedicated group of experts in developing the roadmap for the development and deployment of CDR in the UAE,” he said.

About Bridge Institute

The Bridge Institute is a not-for-profit organisation that brings senior leaders of government, business, and civil society together to make breakthroughs in thinking and action on pressing societal challenges. The Bridge Institute believes the world’s biggest challenges require whole systems to come together for the long-haul. In recent years, the Bridge Institute has taken on societal challenges such as decarbonization, education transformation, water security, peace, combatting human trafficking, child marriage and gender-based violence, health equality, and the refugee crisis. For further information, please visit:

About Carbon Gap

Carbon Gap is a not-for-profit organisation which is focused on removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Carbon Gap guides decision-makers with advice that is independent and science-based. It bridges the knowledge, policy, and ambition gaps so that carbon removal becomes a critical pillar of climate action. For further information, please visit:

About UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators (UICCA)

UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators (UICCA) works to propel the growth of a thriving green economy in the UAE and around the world. By convening the public and private sectors, as well as communities, UICCA advances green financing frameworks and advocates for effective policy and regulation, in order to accelerate the development and implementation of practical climate technology solutions.

Each of UICCA’s projects and initiatives is designed to achieve tangible impact and measurable results in the journey to a more sustainable future. These include a launchpad programme that accelerates climate tech solutions by providing extensive, tailored support to entrepreneurs and promising startups, and a think tank that develops and publishes research reports and policy papers.

UICCA oversees a number of community engagement platforms that raise awareness, host dialogues, and galvanise ideas and actions, including The Climate Tribe, a UAE-based social enterprise dedicated to inspiring climate action and Climate Call, which crowdsources climate ideas from around the world, with three key focus areas: food security, water scarcity, and renewable energy. UICCA is also the driving force behind a series of partnerships and sector alliances, including the UAE Carbon Alliance – a coalition of partners dedicated to advance the development of a carbon market ecosystem in the UAE. UICCA was founded and is led by Her Highness Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, alongside a diverse team of experts in climate research, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. For further information, please visit:


Elda Kulenovic
UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators