UAE to achieve 90% air purity by 2021

Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi speaks during the Federal National Council session in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. He addressed members’ concerns on environmental and air pollution in the UAE. — Photo by Ryan Lim
Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi speaks during the Federal National Council session in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. He addressed members' concerns on environmental and air pollution in the UAE. - Photo by Ryan Lim

Abu Dhabi - The UAE produces 6.5 million tonnes of non-hazardous waste per year.



By Jasmine Al Kuttab

Published: Tue 8 May 2018, 9:00 PM

Last updated: Tue 8 May 2018, 11:29 PM

The UAE will attain 90 per cent air purity in less than three years as part of the National Agenda 2021, the Minister of Climate Change and Environment announced on Tuesday.
Minister Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi said that the ministry is putting air quality at the top of its priorities, and shall reach 90 per cent of clear air by 2021.
The ministry made the major announcement at the Federal National Council (FNC) session, chaired by Speaker Dr Amal Al Qubaisi, after members raised concern over environmental and air pollution.
FNC member Salem Ali Al Shehhi asked the minister about increasing levels of pollution and littering in various parts of the country, particularly those produced by factories. 
"How is the ministry monitoring factories and construction industries on a continuous basis," he asked.
Dr Al Zeyoudi responded by revealing that the ministry is doing what it can to meet the 90 per cent pure air target in less than three years, including surveillance on industrial factories. 
He pointed out that factories and construction industries in the UAE are carefully observed, studied and supervised, adding that between 2014 and 2017, the ministry conducted 3,000 surprise inspections to various factories across the country.
However, the FNC member displayed images of various stone factories' emissions and debated with the minister over toxic gases produced by the plants.  Al Shehhi stressed that such toxicity can affect the UAE's plans in generating renewable energy.
On the other hand, the minister assured the council that factories violating laws are heavily penalised, revealing that a total of 55 factories were fined for environmental violations from 2014 to 2017.
He also revealed that the UAE produces 6.5 million tonnes of non-hazardous waste per year, while each individual generates an average of 1.2 to 1.3kg of waste per day, although the average per person differs between each emirate.
FNC member Marwan bin Ghalita asked the minister about non-recyclable waste.
"Why is it that 77 per cent of the country's waste not recyclable, and why are the nuclear wastes not being recycled, when it can be used to regenerate energy?" He asked.
Dr Al Zeyoudi said that the Dubai Municipality recycles 5,000 tonnes of waste per day, which is being regenerated into energy.

Waste management draft law passed

During a Federal National Council (FNC) session held at the FNC Headquarters, the council passed a waste management draft law to manage the disposal of waste in the UAE.
The law stipulates that any facilities that dispose and/or burn waste in open areas, water channels, parks and/or roads, will face a fine of Dh1million, while individuals caught violating the law will face a fine of Dh30,000.
jasmine@khaleejtimes.com


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