UAE: Standardisation can help world tackle climate crisis, says ISO chief

The UAE has committed to working with various nations to ensure standardisation in education, health, food, sustainable global energy transition and other areas

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Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Mon 19 Sep 2022, 7:14 PM

Last updated: Mon 19 Sep 2022, 7:15 PM

As the world tackles the climate crisis — among other challenges — collaborations across borders must continue, the ISO chief told a global meeting in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

Ulrika Francke, president of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), highlighted the crucial need for international standards to meet climate goals.

“We need to make use of standardisation to support the global climate agenda, and collaboration is key in this,” Francke said in a keynote speech at the kickoff of this year's ISO Annual Meeting.

Several government officials and industry leaders from around the world have gathered in Abu Dhabi for the event that will run until September 23.

“If we collaborate, we can achieve more on tackling different issues affected us globally that working individually," the ISO chief emphasised.

She noted that standards — such as the ISO package for carbon accounting — are essential to creating concrete climate action goals because achievable goals need credible information.

She also cited some ISO achievements — such as the organisation’s commitment to the London Declaration — that unite the global community in using standards to achieve the goals set out in the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The ISO president noted that the organisation has 167 member countries, all working through the 340 ISO technical committees to solve different problems.

“We collaborate all over nationalities and borders through these technical committees to push things forward,” Francke told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the meeting

She added that many countries from nearly all over the world are taking part in the ISO meeting but the challenge is with the developing nations that are yet to have the ability to participate.

“ISO is working on the capacity building to make it easier for these countries to attend the meetings,” she said.

Hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT), the event has attracted more than 2,000 delegates — physically and virtually.

Omar Al Suwaidi, undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, said the UAE highly values its quality infrastructure and has committed to working with various nations to ensure standardisation in education, health, food, sustainable global energy transition and other areas.

“The country has finalised around 27,000 standards and technical regulations across areas related to industry, advanced technology and future industries, alongside other sectors including healthcare, education, construction, food, agriculture, and management systems, among other dynamic sectors that shape the future,” he said.

Some of the key topics to be discussed at the five-day meeting are: ‘How international standards can help implement credible climate plans’; ‘How trade policies can support the climate agenda’; ‘Innovative solutions for water scarcity’; ‘The circular economy: going digital’; ‘The London Declaration: one year on’; ‘Trade in the age of digitalization’; and ‘Resilient food systems: an innovative and sustainable approach’.

The ISO Annual Meeting will also witness the signing of several MoUs between MoIAT and various other national and international standardization bodies.

Supporting 'Make in the Emirates' campaign

Hosting the ISO annual meeting supports the UAE’s 'Make in the Emirates' campaign to usher in a new phase of enabling and stimulating the industrial sector, driven in part by the country’s quality infrastructure ecosystem, which is a fundamental pillar of the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology, otherwise known as Operation 300 Billion.

The Make it in the Emirates campaign extends an open invitation to industrialists, investors, innovators, and entrepreneurs to engage with the ministry and benefit from the UAE’s exceptional value proposition in order to fulfil their ambitions of developing, manufacturing and exporting their products.

It is a key pillar of Operations 300 Billion, which aims to raise the industrial sector’s contribution to the GDP from Dh133 billion to Dh300 billion by 2031. The strategy is aligned with national goals and international commitments relating to advancing sustainable economic growth, deploying clean energy solutions, driving industrial innovation, and promoting responsible consumption and production.

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