The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), and Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) signed a framework agreement to explore opportunities for greater collaboration in environmental protection and conservation.

Abu Dhabi, UAE – February 4, 2020: The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), and Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) signed a framework agreement to explore opportunities for greater collaboration in environmental protection and conservation. 

Under the terms of the agreement, ADNOC and EAD will explore opportunities to build upon many years of successful partnership and cooperation through holistic project management, natural habitat protection, and knowledge sharing to monitor and maintain strict air quality standards. 

The agreement was signed by H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and ADNOC Group CEO, H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and H.E. Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, EAD Secretary General. 

H.E. Dr. Al Jaber said: “This agreement will help to ensure that ADNOC continues to protect and conserve the UAE’s environment and natural habitats for generations to come.  Closer collaboration between ADNOC, MOCCAE and EAD will also make a significant contribution to the UAE’s broader environmental and sustainable development goals. In addition, this agreement makes good business sense, as sound environmental performance will enhance our bottom line while creating lasting value for society at large.” 

H.E. Dr. Al Zeyoudi said: “The UAE has long been committed to preserving the delicate balance between economic development and environmental protection, guided by a host of laws, and bolstered by cross-sectoral initiatives and ventures in line with the UAE Vision 2021.” 

He added: “The framework agreement aligns with this commitment and will lead to notable initiatives and greater achievements in the emirate’s environmental protection efforts. We applaud ADNOC’s steadfast dedication to driving sustainability and mitigating its environmental footprint through multiple measures and initiatives.” 

H.E. Dr. Al Dhaheri said: “Our long-standing partnership with ADNOC has helped to further our common objectives of ensuring the best use of Abu Dhabi’s natural resources, protecting its natural environment and achieving the sustainable development of the emirate. By signing this MoU with MOCCAE and ADNOC, we are strengthening our efforts with our strategic partners and ensuring that we balance the benefits of economic growth with preserving Abu Dhabi's natural heritage and long-term future sustainability. It is only by working together that we can achieve the vision of our leadership to build a more sustainable and brighter future for the next generation and further Abu Dhabi's position as a global leader in protecting the environment and achieving sustainable development.” 

ADNOC and EAD’s many years of collaboration in holistic project management are underpinned by stringent Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) that are performed as part of ADNOC’s mandated approach to health, safety and environmental protection. Baseline Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) surveys are carried out before any new project begins, and environmental management plans continue throughout the project cycle, up to and including decommissioning, to ensure there are no unanticipated impacts on the environment. 

A prime example of ADNOC’s comprehensive approach to environmental protection is the pre-production work being conducted around the Hail, Ghasha and Dalma mega-sour gas development.

As part of its efforts to minimize environmental impact, ADNOC has conducted one of the largest marine environmental baseline surveys in the UAE’s history. This has enabled ADNOC to carefully locate the project’s 11 artificial islands and optimize well numbers and trajectories to ensure that both islands and drilling activities are placed outside sensitive areas. This includes comprehensive development and management plans to protect diverse marine ecosystems, mitigating any potential impact to sensitive habitats and endangered species.

Partnership in natural habitat protection efforts has supported the conservation drive across Abu Dhabi. This includes the establishment of protected exclusion zones for endangered species, including dugongs, the Hawksbill turtle, the Arabian oryx and indigenous ospreys. One key example of these joint conservation efforts is the Marawah Marine Biosphere, which has been acknowledged by UNESCO as a program of national and regional significance. In addition, ADNOC has planted over 250,000 mangrove seedlings in the emirate of Abu Dhabi to preserve the biodiversity of the UAE coastline and has built 293 artificial coral reefs to enrich and safeguard marine life. 

Supporting the decisions behind all of ADNOC and EAD’s joint protection and conservation efforts is the continued exchange of critical environmental monitoring data. To this end, ADNOC and EAD have remained committed to facilitating further digital integration of the organizations’ existing ambient air quality management system network, ensuring greater certainty in the reporting of ADNOC and the UAE’s 2030 GHG emissions targets. Furthermore, EAD and ADNOC will build on  multiple existing initiatves aimed to protect, enhance, and conduct awareness programs highlighting biodiversity in Abu Dhabi and the UAE. 

The framework agreement aligning ADNOC, MOCCAE and EAD on environmental protection follows ADNOC’s announcement of its Comprehensive 2030 Sustainability Goals. ADNOC plans to decrease its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity by 25 percent by 2030, strengthening its position as one of the least carbon-intensive oil and gas companies in the world. According to the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers, ADNOC currently ranks among the top five lowest GHG emitters in the oil and gas industry and has one of the lowest methane intensities in the sector. 

ADNOC also commits to limit its freshwater consumption ratio to below 0.5 percent of total water use. Today, over 99 percent of the water ADNOC uses for cooling purposes is extracted seawater which is discharged back to the ocean after undergoing treatment to ensure compliance with ADNOC’s strict discharge standards and, in turn, the emirate of Abu Dhabi’s regulatory standards. 

In addition, ADNOC will continue to protect and support biodiversity across its operations and the broader local environment. As part of this commitment, ADNOC plans to plant 10 million mangrove seedlings in Al Dhafra Region in coordination with the EAD. 

The framework agreement, together with the recently announced Comprehensive 2030 Sustainability Goals, support ADNOC’s vision to become best-in-class in sustainability and maximize value for the UAE. These milestones underscore ADNOC’s strong ESG performance as the company responds to rising global energy demand and delivers its 2030 smart growth strategy. Importantly, the agreement and ADNOC’s sustainability commitments are also aligned with the UAE’s commitments to sustainable development and, in particular, the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals on responsible consumption and production, climate action, biodiversity protection, and enhanced economic opportunity.

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