UAE Circular Economy Council reviews progress on policy implementation, scales up transition to circularity

Dr Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi at the council meeting. — Wam
Dr Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi at the council meeting. — Wam

Dubai - The members explored a proposal to launch a Circular Economy Innovation Incubator in collaboration with Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Centre from Italy.


A Staff Reporter

Published: Tue 31 Aug 2021, 8:05 PM

Last updated: Tue 31 Aug 2021, 8:25 PM

The UAE Circular Economy Council held its second meeting of 2021on Tuesday. The members of the council reviewed the progress made thus far in the implementation of the UAE Circular Economy Policy 2021-2031, and highlighted initiatives from the public and private sector to drive the UAE’s circularity.

Dr Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment and Chair of the UAE Circular Economy Council, said: “Circular Economy is an integral part of the global shift to a green economy that supports sustainable growth. The UAE has initiated a transition to green economy and incorporated its principals in current and future strategies. To drive efforts in this area, the UAE Circular Economy Policy 2021-2031 was approved earlier this year as a framework that identifies the optimal approach to support the transition to a circular economy, and the UAE Circular Economy Council was formed to oversee the integration of circularity across sectors.”

He added: “Following the outcomes of our first meeting, the team remarkably developed multiple programmes and initiatives that support the implementation of the UAE Circular Economy Policy.

The council chose Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, to chair the Expert Committee that is set out to develop the implementation plan of the UAE Circular Economy Policy and related programmes and initiatives. To inform and guide our next steps and with the continuous support of my colleagues in the council and the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre, we are currently designing a set of circular economy KPIs that will measure progress towards achieving the UAE’s priorities outlined in the policy.”

Moreover, the members explored a proposal to launch a Circular Economy Innovation Incubator in collaboration with Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Centre from Italy. The incubator will help create an ecosystem to harness the full potential of technological innovation in circular economy by serving as a dedicated hub for stakeholders from the government, private sector, academia, and innovation networks, as well as startups to develop innovative circular economy solutions and promote entrepreneurship in the field.

Al Marri said: “For over a decade, the private sector has invested well in circular economy. As a government, it is our role to work together with our private-sector partners to amplify the momentum. To adopt sustainable production and consumption, we need to move closer to circular and regenerative economy and operate sustainably to secure the wellbeing of current and future generations. Transitioning to circular economy will enable the UAE to unlock new sustainable economic opportunities and ensure our nation is stronger, more resilient, and more prosperous well into the future.”

Al Marri will head the Expert Committee of the UAE Circular Economy Council that is tasked with developing the implementation mechanism for the UAE Circular Economy Policy, align nationwide efforts with the policy requirements, promote public-private partnerships in related projects and initiatives, and drive the development of relevant scientific studies and research. In addition, the committee will submit a quarterly progress report to the council.

For his part, Dr Abdullah Al Mahri, Director of Investment and Stakeholder Management, at the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, briefed the council on Operation 300bn that aims to develop the UAE’s industrial sector and enhance its role in stimulating the national economy through raising the industrial sector’s contribution to the GDP from AED 133 billion to AED 300 billion by 2031.

Moreover, Saif Ghubash Al Marri, Director of Land Transport Affairs Department at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, presented an overview of the National Smart Mobility Strategy that will help the UAE expand its smart mobility solutions and services and make them more climate friendly.

Mohammed Al Jawi, Senior Manager of Environment and Waste Management at Emirates Global Aluminium, outlined the company’s best circular economy practices in line with its commitment to sending zero processed waste to landfills.

He highlighted EGA’s approach to reducing its generated spent pot lining (SPL) – the largest by-product streams in aluminium smelting, by working closely with the UAE cement companies to use the potential of SPL to replace some fuel and refractory materials required in cement manufacturing.

The meeting agenda also featured a global update on the Scale360 initiative by Antonia Gawel, Head of Circular Economy and Innovation at the World Economic Forum. She also highlighted the importance of social media in raising public awareness of sustainable production and consumption to increase the contribution of communities to the shift towards a circular economy. — Wam

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