UAE, UK Strengthen Collaboration on AI, Green Tech: Boris Johnson

By Clementine Crooks

April 18, 2024


Boris Johnson, the former Prime Minister of Britain, in his address at the Green Hydrogen Summit held at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in Abu Dhabi, stressed increased collaboration between the UAE and the UK. He emphasized that both nations must work closer together, particularly in areas such as green technology, which includes battery technology, artificial intelligence, and nuclear reactors.

During this summit held amidst incessant rain across the UAE, Johnson reminisced about his visit to Abu Dhabi during his tenure as Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016. He was visited by Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, who is currently serving as the Minister of Industry and Advanced Technologies while also being Chairman of Masdar. They rode an autonomous electric vehicle, which made a strong impression on him.

Johnson acknowledged the close engagement between the UK and UAE over recent years, especially with regards to electricity generation. The London Array project has been instrumental in this relationship; it's one of the largest wind farms globally since its inception in 2013. This joint venture, involving Masdar from Abu Dhabi, RWE from Germany, Orsted from Denmark, and CDPQ based out of Canada, provides power for half a million homes in Britain.

The former prime minister revealed that during his leadership term back in 2022, wind power alone accounted for generating around 26% of their total electricity consumption.

However, he believes there are greater feats yet to be achieved by these two countries working side-by-side. One example is the Dogger Bank South (DBS) project, one of the world’s largest planned offshore wind farms, where Masdar recently acquired a stake of up to 49 percent.

Stressing the importance of leadership alongside technological innovation towards strengthening cooperation further between these nations, Boris said: “Innovation requires countries like us [UAE & UK] to work closely together in everything ranging from battery technology to AI.”.

He expressed confidence regarding potential opportunities due to mutual trust & understanding between these two nations.

Johnson commended the UAE's efforts towards clean energy production via the Barakah nuclear power plant. He suggested that both countries could collaborate on small modular reactors, similar to those made by Rolls Royce.

He urged for further cooperation in developing green technologies and said, “Together, we will not only work towards promoting peace but also develop technological solutions that would enable the world combat climate change effectively, reduce long-term energy costs, and create millions of quality jobs.”.

The former prime minister strongly believes that the UK, along with the UAE, can take a leading role when it comes to green hydrogen as well as other forms of green technology. Hence, his call for increased collaboration between these two nations is not just about mutual benefits but also an effort towards global climate betterment.


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