UAE Leaders Take Proactive Approach to Reduce Environmental Stress
The impacts and consequences of climate change are becoming more apparent each day, and many nations are struggling with how to mitigate these effects. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), however, is taking a proactive approach to reduce environmental stress, harnessing the power of clean energy to promote sustainability and social and economic development.
The UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda emphasizes the need to improve air quality, preserve water resources, and augment clean energy contributions and green growth plans. Highlighting the importance of the private sector, the National Agenda seeks to incorporate companies into boosting the Emirates’ standing as a leader in infrastructure and telecommunications. This would allow the Gulf nation to provide smart services that are integrated with airports, ports, roads, and electricity. The UAE has already made significant strides in promoting smart technology across the country. In Dubai, for example, smart services have been used to transform how government services are delivered through over 100 smart initiatives led by government and private sector entities.
According to Dr. Kamel Mellahi, senior manager, Dubai Chamber Centre for Responsible Business during a recent webinar on the UAE’s Circular Economy Policy, greater collaboration is needed between the government, business sector, and all other segments of society in order to facilitate a shift from a “linear mode of production and consumption to circular economic model that can create long term economic social and environmental benefits.”
The Emirati government has organized numerous events to encourage cross-sector collaboration in the sustainability field. Between January 17 to 19 of next year, the UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi will host Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week which will include the World Future Energy Summit, a business event focused on clean energy and sustainability. The last Summit convened 34,000 participants from 125 countries, including 10 heads of state. Other events, including the World Green Economy Summit (WGES), organized by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and the World Green Economy Organization (WGEO) are also key for pushing forward the government’s green economy agenda in the country and in the region.
Some locally hosted events will also focus on understanding how the UAE can adopt clean energy best practices that other nations have implemented. The inaugural World Sustainable Business Forum 2021, for example, will feature a discussion on how Nordic countries have obtained success and innovation in the sustainability space, and what lessons these experiences offer to other countries.
According to Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei, the UAE’s Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, “The UAE has set itself some seriously ambitious medium- and long-term environmental targets and put in motion a strategic plan which will facilitate clean power generation and increased energy efficiency while catering for our fast economic growth.”
Al Mazrouei has also emphasized the role of public policy in helping the UAE establish itself as a leader in the clean energy industry: “During a record period, the UAE was able to expand in the field of clean energy thanks to the legislation and laws that kept pace with the current developments and future challenges and set ambitious goals for the future, which in turn strengthened the investment system in this vital sector that is the centerpiece of the national economy.”