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How is utility giant TAQA helping the UAE meet its climate goals?

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Find out how the UAE’s largest utility firm is leveraging global green finance to invest in sustainable energy and water projects.

The UAE has committed to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and is on track to triple the share of renewable energy by 2030, at which point the contribution of clean energy generation will increase to 32%.1 Abu Dhabi National Energy Company – better known as TAQA, the Arabic word for energy – play a key role in achieving those goals.

TAQA is the UAE's largest utility and is one of the largest listed integrated utilities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It launched its ESG strategy in 2022, setting a target of a 25% absolute reduction in its scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 across the Group, including a 33% reduction of its UAE portfolio emissions (compared to 2019 base year) – among other goals.2 As well as growing its share of renewable energy assets in its portfolio through its share in Masdar and investing in a low carbon power system, another key pillar of its plan is to implement much less energy-intensive reverse osmosis technology for desalination, the main source of the UAE’s drinking water.3 At the end of 2022, TAQA achieved an 11% reduction in GHG emissions compared to 2019.4

To help fund its various green projects, TAQA issued its first green bond in April 2023. The USD1 billion 10-year notes were part of a USD1.5 billion dual-tranche bond issuance that was nearly 10 times oversubscribed and priced at a discount to its secondary curve.

HSBC acted as joint green structurer, lead manager and bookrunner

In line with TAQA’s recently established Green Finance Framework, the eligible green project categories include renewable energy, sustainable water and wastewater management, energy efficiency, clean transportation and projects related to protecting biodiversity. Moody’s Investors Service provided an independent Second Party Opinion on the framework, who gave it a Sustainability Quality Score of SQS2 (Very Good).5

TAQA already operates one of the world’s largest single-site solar plants and intends to bring an even bigger one (comprising around 4 million solar panels and almost double the size) online just ahead of COP28 in November 2023.6 Moreover, with assets across the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, TAQA’s energy transition agenda has implications far beyond its Abu Dhabi headquarters.

We see sustainability as an opportunity and are evolving to become a champion of low carbon power and water. That means meeting the energy and water needs of today as efficiently as possible, whilst also investing in the lower carbon alternatives we need. We have a key role to play in helping the UAE achieve its net zero by 2050 target, which is reflected in our GHG emissions reduction targets.

Jasim Husain Thabet | Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, TAQA

The company’s commitment to sustainability sends an important signal to other power and water businesses in the MENA region.

Ahmed M Hashem, Head of Coverage, Abu Dhabi, at HSBC said: “HSBC has been at the forefront of supporting UAE companies, such as TAQA, develop sustainable finance frameworks since 2017. As we approach COP28, we are supporting our clients in developing their own frameworks with the intention to issue green bonds or loans.”

Today we finance a number of industries that significantly contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. We have a strategy to help our customers to reduce their emissions and to reduce our own. Find out more: https://www.hsbc.com/who-we-are/our-climate-strategy

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