UAE signs up for Mother Earth

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UAE signs up for Mother Earth
His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, paid an inspection visit to the Dubai Municipality's nursery in Warsan at academic City Street on Thursday.

Dubai - On Earth Day, UAE attends signing ceremony at UN headquarters to limit increase in global average temperature

By Angel Tesorero

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Published: Fri 22 Apr 2016, 6:53 PM

Last updated: Sat 23 Apr 2016, 8:31 AM

The UAE will add its stamp on global action to mitigate climate change at the official signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement in New York today, coinciding with the celebration of the 46th Earth Day.
Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister for Climate Change and Environment, leads the country's delegation to the signing ceremony at the UN headquarters for the accord agreed last December that limit increase in the global average temperature to "well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels."
Prior to today's signing, Al Zeyoudi joined a panel of international figures at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs to raise awareness and promote the UAE's ambitious actions in the area of climate change and environment.
"The UAE is diversifying its economy to not only combat climate change, but also safeguard its economy for future generations," said Al Zeyoudi at the forum attended by Adnan Amin, director-general of International Renewable Energy Agency, Delphine Eyraud, from the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, and Dr. Joe Aldy, associate professor at JFK School of Government at Harvard University.
In a separate interview with Zawya, Al Zeyoudi said the UAE's "ambitious climate change goals won't impact growth."
"We believe the Paris Agreement is a great success and will empower our ambitious economic diversification plans," Al Zeyoudi was quoted in a Zawya report. "The agreement has created a flexible system that allows countries to individually develop their own climate actions without compromising their economic growth."
The UAE, which has one of the largest carbon footprints in the world, has submitted an ambitious goal, known formally as an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC).
"Many of the climate change and sustainable development issues are inter-connected," said Al Zeyoudi. "For countries in the highly arid and rapidly urbanising region like ours where climate change could further affect water scarcity and result in higher temperatures, water, energy and cities cannot be addressed in isolation. Our INDC outlines strategies to enhance biodiversity, water management, wetlands and marine environment conversation and food security."
Meanwhile, Dewa CEO and managing-director Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer said the agency is "renewing (its) commitment to the rational use of natural resources and contributing to finding sustainable solutions to limit usage, and achieve sustainable development economically, socially, and environmentally, supporting the Dubai Plan 2021 to transform Dubai into a smart, connected, and sustainable city with clean environmental elements."

At a glance

Earth age: 4.6 billion years

Current population: 7.8 billion people

First Earth Day: April 22, 1970. It was founded by former US senator Gaylord Nelson after he saw the enormous 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.

Target number of trees for planting before 50th Earth Day in 2020: 7.8 billion

More than 1 billion people from 192 countries expected to take part in this year's Earth Day.

CO2 emission per person in the UAE according to the 2015 UAE State of Energy Report is 20 tonnes per year
"Dewa works to reduce carbon emissions, as part of its efforts to contribute to the Carbon Abatement Strategy launched by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, to reduce carbon emissions by 16 per cent by 2020," added Al Tayer.
He also noted Dewa has managed to reduce water usage over the past seven years through its various campaigns, and managed to save 1,344 gigawatts (GW) of electricity, and 5.6 billion gallons of water, saving Dh841 million, and limiting carbon dioxide emissions by over 715,000 tonnes.

Young eco-warriors lend their voice
To celebrate Earth Day, the Emirates Environmental Group will hold its 16th Annual Inter School Environmental Public Speaking Competition on April 25 and 26 at Dubai Knowledge Village.
"Through this competition we bring together students and teachers from across the UAE on a common platform to share ideas and learn more about the environmental challenges facing us today and come up with possible solutions to mitigate them," EEG chairperson Habiba Al Marashi told Khaleej Times.
The students will share their views on climate change and its impact on water security; alternative energy resources; sustainable development goals; and technological advancement in education.

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