Liquefied natural gas, one of the cleanest fossil fuels and a main pillar of Qatar's economy, is a key tool that Qatar uses to make the world a better place by alleviating the impact of climate change to have a more robust economy, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said on Friday.
Addressing the Raisina Dialogue, hosted virtually by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation, he pointed out that Qatar is financing development with the support of countries in need, which have been greatly affected by climate change.
"For example, His Highness the Amir in 2019 pledged $100mn to small countries and islands that have been affected by climate change. The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) focuses heavily on the impact of investment as it's part of the One Planet initiative.
"One of the examples is in India. An investment we are really happy about is in a power company to ensure transforming the coal plants into gas plants and hopefully to renewables. So, we have made a commitment with that power company, which is part of Adani Group, to become a coal-free company by 2030 and this was the main purpose of that investment.
"Another initiative the state is looking at is in Africa, where it is investing in more than 10 countries with a European partner to build new, green power plant that will focus on renewable sources such as wind and solar. Another initiative was through a QIA investment that is implementing a number of projects in South America and the US. There was big focus to invest locally and internationally in the field. Qatar has built a very large solar power plant."
HE Sheikh Mohamed said Qatar also has one of the largest carbon storage facilities in the region, and believes that the FIFA World Cup 2022 will be the first carbon-neutral global event.
On the peace process in Afghanistan, HE the Deputy Prime Minister highlighted that in Afghanistan, Qatar is working to resolve a 40-year war. Qatar worked to find a solution between the allied forces and Taliban, not just a solution for the US and Taliban.
"Qatar's goal since it hosted talks between Taliban and the US and talks between Taliban and the Afghan government, was to bring peace to Afghanistan. Qatar knew there would be a lot of obstacles to achieving that peace. It has become even more challenging since the signing of the agreement between the US and Taliban, as a result of the turbulence that occurred between negotiating parties.
HE Sheikh Mohamed said another challenge was the announcement of a withdrawal date for forces, noting that the date set in the US-Taliban agreement was May 1. He cited the little progress made in the inter-Afghan war as another challenge, highlighting that it will be the cornerstone of any future peace agreements.
"Qatar, the UN, and Turkey will host an event in Istanbul in the coming two weeks in order to push the inter-Afghan peace process forward. However, the outcome is still uncertain. Qatar is in close contact with the Afghan government and the Taliban to try to reduce the levels of violence, in order to provide an environment suitable for holding negotiations between the two sides. We hope that an agreement can be made in the next few days."
On ties between Qatar and India, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the Indian investments in Qatar and Qatari investments in India must continue and expand in scope, as has been the case over the last three years.
HE Sheikh Mohamed stressed the importance of continued political co-operation and consultation between Qatar and India, given the role the two can play in bringing security and peace to the region.