UAE is committed to reducing carbon footprint
The UAE was one of the first countries to support the Kyoto Protocol in 2005 and the first country in the region to sign the Copenhagen Agreement.
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues for the global community. Changing weather patterns are threatening food production, and rising water levels are increasing the risk of catastrophic floods or even initiating irreversible changes in major ecosystems. Changing patterns may also affect health, agriculture, economy, society, and biodiversity among others.
The UAE has played an important role at the International Conference of the Parties in 2015 in Paris. The UAE is committed to combat climate change, and achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 to mobilise efforts to eradicate poverty, combat inequality, address climate change and develop vital and strategic sectors.
In fact, the UAE was one of the first countries to support the Kyoto Protocol in 2005 to curb greenhouse gas emissions in industrialised countries, in addition to being the first country in the region to sign the Copenhagen Agreement, during the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties, to support the long-term agreement towards reducing emissions.
Dubai is moving forward in the fields of renewable energy, sustainability and the environment, and enhancing its efficiency. The Supreme Council of Energy has set a strategy to reduce carbon emissions by 16 per cent, equivalent to reducing 11 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2021. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to transform the emirate into a global hub for clean energy and green economy. Subsequently, clean energy sources will provide 25 per cent of energy needs by 2030, and 75 per cent by 2050.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) strives to support national efforts to promote sustainability and transition to a green economy through the launch of green projects, initiatives and programmes to increase reliance on clean energy and improve the efficiency of energy and water production and consumption. The projects include the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is the largest single-site solar project in the world based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model. It will produce 5,000 MW by 2030, with a total investment of Dh50 billion. When completed, the project will achieve a reduction of approximately 6.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
Dewa launched Etihad Energy Services Company to provide promising investment opportunities to companies specialising in energy efficiency. Dewa is working to retrofit over 30,000 buildings to ensure energy efficiency. In adherence with the Demand Side Management strategy, the project will reduce energy consumption by 30 per cent by 2030. We are cooperating with Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower), the largest district cooling system provider in the world.
Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence is working to develop a green economy by developing new operational standards to reduce carbon emissions. The United Nation Framework on Convention on Climate Change announced the launch of the UAE Solar Power Programme in cooperation with the Dubai Carbon Centre for Excellence (Dubai Carbon) to enhance the clean development mechanism in all ongoing solar projects.
The impacts of climate change will require serious action from governments and countries. They are expected to take comprehensive action to reduce carbon footprint, reduce emissions and conserve natural resources for a bright future for our future generations, with a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.
Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer is Vice-Chairman of Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and MD & CEO of Dewa