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Efforts of the UAE to mitigate Climate Change

by | 13-10-2015 19:13 recommendations 0


The UAE considers the environmental protection a main objective of its development policy. The United Arab Emirates took the lead in the field of green economy in the region, His Highness Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced the launch of UAE Green Economy Initiative in 2012 under the slogan "A green economy for sustainable development? with the aim of making the UAE one of the global pioneers in green economy, a hub for exporting green products and technologies, and a developmental model to be followed to achieve the objectives of comprehensive development, and at the same time maintain a long term sustainable environment to achieve UAE 2021 Vision.

The UAE has intensified efforts in the past years to conserve these resources and ensure ultimate compliance with environmental standards and measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The UAE is committed to addressing climate change from an economic, social and environmental point of view. Reducing emissions, while promoting economic and social development, is the challenge before UAE. The UAE is at the forefront of international efforts to mitigate climate change.


1. IMPLEMENTATION OF PROJECTS: The United Arab Emirates has engaged in the implementation of 14 projects for the purpose of reducing the emissions of GHGs under the umbrella of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects. The total annual reduction is estimated about one million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2Eq).


2. CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES :The UAE, the only OPEC nation supplying both hydrocarbons and renewable energy to the international market, has accelerated and adopted renewable energy and has made significant investments to develop and deploy clean technologies globally as a key strategy for climate change mitigation.

The UAE has rapidly emerged as a leading investor in clean energy technologies and in 2013 the UAE successfully inaugurated a number of projects including: Shams 1 — the 100MW solar plant in Abu Dhabi the 13MW solar plant in Dubai and the 630MW London Array offshore wind farm in the United Kingdom. Implementing commercial clean energy projects, making investments into clean technologies, and also expanding development assistance by making clean energy accessible to all are its efforts in mitigating climate change.

Several energy supply/fuels scenarios are modeled and simulated including the following: Business as Usual (BaU), the UAE proposed nuclear strategy (APR1400) as well as 12 more aggressive Clean Energy Era (CEE) proposed scenarios. Nuclear energy, especially in its extreme CEE scenario (8NPPs), was found to be more practical option in mitigating CO2 than renewable energy and carbon capture and sequestration among the simulated scenarios. Nuclear energy also demonstrated an economic viability. The cost of electricity produced from nuclear energy was calculated to be 3.2 cents/kWh, significantly less than the current cost of 8.15 cents/kWh for electricity generation from fossil fuels in the UAE.

3. THE NATIONAL BLUE CARBON PROJECT: The Blue Carbon Project represents an important step in the efforts to conserve biodiversity and mitigate climate change, which is one of the main objectives of the national strategy for biodiversity - improving the contribution of ecosystems in carbon stocks by 2021 to help mitigate climate change by strengthening the capacity of marine and coastal ecosystems to absorb greenhouse gases.

 The Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW) launched the National Blue Carbon Project report, marking the first national quantification of the UAE?s Blue Carbon stocks, which will help guide decision-making in coastal ecosystem preservation and climate change mitigation. Blue Carbon refers to coastal vegetation, which studies have shown can sequester carbon far more effectively than terrestrial forests. This project is the first of its kind in the region and looks towards strengthening the UAE?s leading position in issues concerning the environment, biodiversity and climate change at both regional and global levels.

4. PRESERVE WATER RESOURCES: Huge efforts are being made to preserve water resources, with emphasis on promoting the adoption and installation of modern irrigation systems to replace flood irrigation method, which wastes large amounts of water. Figures indicate that modern irrigation systems sprinkler, drip and fountain irrigation systems. The agricultural sector saw a remarkable development. The organic production area in the UAE increased too. Climate change has severe impacts on water resources on one hand, while the issue of water is also related to development, health, energy, food security and biodiversity on the other hand.

The UAE has adopted various options in this regards, including desalination efficient use of water in agriculture optimal use of treated wastewater regulating the drilling of groundwater wells prohibiting direct and indirect export of groundwater building more dams and levees to collect rainwater modifying patterns of consumption across the urban sector to raise the average of water consumption into globally attained levels through simultaneous attention to awareness mechanisms, economic dynamics and technical solutions.

5. ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION: Environmental awareness mainly affects the process of environmental improvement knowing that education and awareness campaigns aim at developing the culture of the society regarding environment and promoting environmental behaviour of individuals, which helps to conserve and properly manage natural resource. As part of the involvement of global stakeholders in the wheel of promoting environmental knowledge, the Eco-Schools Initiative has been launched. It is a global initiative led by the Emirates Wildlife Society in collaboration with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), aiming to encourage environmental action in schools.

6. MASDAR: Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar). Masdar Company was founded 2006 as a subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company. It aims to achieve commercial benefit in the field of renewable energy and sustainable technologies, and provide the necessary underpinnings in this sector. Masdar City comprises 5 business units with the parent company.

7. ENVIRONMENTAL AWARDS: The government has adopted a number of local and international certificates of appreciation for environment so as to demonstrate progress achieved in the environmental field in the country. These awards include: Zayed International Prize for the Environment, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Prize for Government Excellence, Zayed Future Energy Prize, Emirates Energy Award, Dubai Award for Sustainable Transport, Emirates Appreciation Award for the Environment.

8. AIR QUALITY: Maintaining good air quality within the permitted limits is a significant challenge in a moderate population and economic growth. This challenge becomes even more significant in United Arab Emirates due to the significant growth in population and economic growth and the subsequent growth in the number of vehicles and the growth and multicity of industries. The UAE geographic location, rise in temperatures, lack of sources of natural waters, the need for desalination to achieve water balance and the associated electrical energy needed for desalination and fuel burning add more challenges

Human activities are the main reason for the increased pressures on air quality such as population and economic growth in the country. The country total population was approximately 4,106,427 million in 2005, and reached about 8,264,070 million in 2010.

9. THE OZONE LAYER PROTECTION: The UAE, as always, an important and active party in the efforts exerted by the international community to phase out the ozone depleting substances. UAE acceded to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1989. In addition, it adopted the four amendments of the Montreal Protocol. It has been since then exerting enormous efforts to meet its obligations under the Convention and the Protocol. Eliminating the consumption of numerous CFCs, Halons and methyl bromide in 2010, UAE has then met the requirements of the Protocol. For HCFCs, UAE shall have completely eliminated their consumption by 2040.

10. NATURE RESERVES: By 2010, declared natural reserves in UAE totalled to 19, and were increased to 22 in 2013. Reserves that have been listed as wetlands of international importance within the framework of Ramsar Convention increased from (2) reserves in 2010 to (5) reserves in 2013.

11. MARINE RESERVES: In 2014, the United Arab Emirates was ranked first in the marine reserves index, compared to 33rd in 2012. This, indeed, reflects the UAE efforts in the preservation of ecosystems.

12. FORESTS: Competent authorities in UAE made great efforts to increase forest area, considering their significant contribution to the protection of soil and sand dune fixation and minimization of climate change impacts. As such, it has increased forest area from hundreds to thousands of hectares.

13. CORAL REEFS AND MANGROVES: The Ministry of Environment and Water has cultivated coral reefs, which are considered one of the most important activities that improve the protection of habitats and fragile environments.

14. FISH STOCK ENHANCEMENT: The Marine Environment Research Department was opened in 1984 and was entrusted with numerous tasks that aimed at achieving the objectives of fisheries development. The Department was established in Emirate of Umm Al Quwain, with an area of 333,000 square meters. Over the past years, fish stocks in the UAE waters were supported by the farming and production of a number of local, economically significant fish that were released into the UAE coast, particularly in protected areas and areas rich with mangroves and creeks during the period from 1984 to 2013. Fish species included Grouper, Sea Bass, Sea Bream, Rabbit Fish, Spangled Emperor, Mullet, Finned Black Sea Bream, and Grayish Grunt.

In this way the UAE has adopted many environmental initiatives and projects that have had impact in improving the quality of environment. UAE has accordingly made great efforts in difficult environmental conditions to increase green areas, develop water resources, improve marine environment and protect it from pollution, preserve fisheries and livestock, develop strategies to protect biodiversity, and issue necessary legislations for such development policies in the country to ensure sustainable environment.

Source: http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/environment/economic-aspects-of-adaptation-to-climate-change_225282538105/




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  • Rohan Kapur says :
    Well structured report, Mohit. The efforts of UAE are in fact serious & for long run & generations to come.
    Posted 18-10-2015 13:37

  • Luiz Bispo says :
    Very clear and informative report. Thanks for that mate. Keep going and working green!! =D
    Posted 17-10-2015 11:33

  • says :
    Detailed report. Thanks.
    Posted 16-10-2015 23:38

  • says :
    Thanks Mohit for detailed report.UAE indeed is taking huge steps to combat climate change.
    Posted 15-10-2015 00:22

  • says :
    Thank you so much Mohit for this detailed report on efforts of UAE to mitigate climate change. Be it investing in clean energy or awarding eco- saviors and innovators. So glad to see the efforts of UAE :)
    Posted 14-10-2015 23:17

  • says :
    Very long but detailed report. Thanks for sharing
    Posted 14-10-2015 08:46

  • says :
    Very well researched report, Mohit. It is indeed a pleasure to see UAE in the forefront in taking
    fruitful actions to mitigate climate change. Thanks for such an informative report:)
    Posted 13-10-2015 21:42

  • Arushi Madan says :
    Thanks for the informative report, Mohit. UAE, indeed, is investing in many many projects to ensure sustainability and mitigate climate change.
    Posted 13-10-2015 21:08

  • says :
    It is so great to know that the government of the country in which we reside is doing so much for the environment. Thanks for the information, Mohit!
    Posted 13-10-2015 20:11

  • says :
    Hi Mohit! Thanks for the this very informative report! I was especially impessed by the blue carbon project, and I hope it continues and becomes a success!
    Posted 13-10-2015 19:47

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