The United Arab Emirates (UAE), situated on the Arabian Peninsula, boasts a total land area spanning 83,600 km2, with a coastline stretching 1,318 km along the southeastern portion of the Persian Gulf. The nation’s climate is predominantly hot and humid, characterized by vast expanses of desert covering approximately four fifths of its land area, rendering it a water-scarce and hyper-arid environment.

As of 2020, the UAE’s population stands at an estimated 9.9 million people, with over 85 percent of its inhabitants being immigrants. The nation’s economy hinges largely on its crude oil production and construction sectors, complemented by thriving trade and real estate services.

However, the UAE faces significant vulnerabilities to the impacts of climate change. Foreseeable consequences include extreme heat, storm surges, sea level rise, water stress, dust and sandstorms, and desertification. Even slight deviations in weather patterns could wield profound implications for the country’s economic, environmental, and social well-being.

Notably, key areas and sectors set to bear the brunt of climate-induced changes encompass construction and infrastructure, energy, public health, and agriculture and food security, which confronts multifaceted challenges due to shifting climatic conditions, including temperature fluctuations and altered precipitation patterns.

Rising sea levels particularly threatens the nation’s vital infrastructures, including desalination and power facilities. Coastal habitats along the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman are also at risk.

Mitigating the effects of climate change is imperative for safeguarding the UAE’s future sustainability and resilience. In July 2023, the UAE updated its third nationally determined contribution (NDC), aiming to curb carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030, up from its previous 31 percent target.

The UAE also played a pivotal role in rallying the global community to combat climate change by hosting the 28th UN Climate Conference of the Parties (COP28 UAE) at Dubai Expo City in November 2023. COP28 culminated in the UAE Consensus, a milestone agreement signaling a commitment to transition away from fossil fuels.

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