ABU DHABI, 4th February, 2022 (WAM) — The United Arab Emirates celebrates the National Environment Day which is held on the 4th of February.
This year, the 25th edition of the event is held under the theme “Climate Action Now” to raise awareness among entrepreneurs and community members about climate change and its impacts.
Climate action and carbon reduction strategies have become an integral part of the UAE’s development model, which aims to encourage environmentally friendly investments and turn challenges into opportunities.
McKinsey’s recently released report, “The Net-Zero Transition: What it would cost, what it could bring,” notes that aiming to achieve global carbon neutrality by 2050 will cost $275 trillion. Governments, businesses and individuals will need to spend an additional $3.5 trillion a year. In turn, this high cost of global investments in the energy transition could increase international GDP, rising to nearly $98 trillion per year by 2050.
A report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), titled “Transforming the Energy System”, also pointed out that nearly $3.2 trillion needed to be invested each year, or nearly 2% of global make the transition to low-carbon energy. technologies.
Within this framework, the UAE’s comprehensive development plan for the next 50 years aims to enhance its stature among advanced countries by accelerating the transition to a green economy, as a cornerstone of recovery from the negative economic and social repercussions of the coronavirus (COVID- 19) pandemic on all communities. Now, amid the return to normalcy, the importance of investing in a green recovery has become evident, mainly through the adoption of plans by governments to support their economies, which requires the development of policies to cope with the decline in investment in environmentally friendly activities due to preventive measures.
On National Environment Day, the United Arab Emirates reiterates its commitment to following the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s path and adherence to the implementation of policies, strategies, legislations, plans and programs adopted by their leaders to ensure a sustainable future, creating a balance between economic and social development and environmental protection.
The UAE has adopted a comprehensive policy with appropriate strategies and initiatives, including the UAE net zero by 2050 strategic initiative. It has also launched the UAE National Climate Change Plan 2017-2050, a roadmap to support national activities and initiatives aimed at combating climate change.
The UAE Cabinet adopted the UAE Circular Economy Policy 2021-2031, followed by the formation of the UAE Circular Economy Council. In 2012, the country adopted a green economy approach to support its sustainable development through the UAE Green Growth Strategy, in addition to the UAE Vision 2021, a national strategy that includes several indicators to ensure sustainable environmental development. .
The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment has also launched the National Climate Change Adaptation Program to build the country’s resilience to the changing effects of climate change.
Climate change remains a crucial challenge for humanity and all life forms on the planet, which calls for focusing future recovery plans and measures on transitioning to a green economy and applying the principles of a circular economy. , in addition to protecting the marine environment and preserving the health of the oceans, to strengthen the blue economy system.
The UAE’s interest in the green economy stems from their awareness of the importance of sustainable development while focusing on the environment and climate, resource conservation and improved living standards.
Therefore, climate action and carbon reduction strategies have become an integral part of the UAE’s development model. It aims to sustainably manage the economy, use natural and environmental resources efficiently, promote a circular economy and sustainable consumption, reduce environmental stress, and encourage the private sector to adopt artificial intelligence and other technologies. of the fourth industrial revolution.
The UAE sought to transition to clean energy more than 15 years ago and is now home to three of the largest solar power plants in the world. The country is the first in the Middle East to operate a zero-carbon nuclear power plant and the first country in the region to establish an industrial carbon capture facility.
Moreover, it also set up the first industrial green hydrogen project in the region in May 2021, in addition to increasing the production of blue hydrogen as part of its efforts to diversify its energy sources.
The UAE plans to cultivate 100 million mangroves by 2030 and is exploring other solutions to help reduce emissions from the agriculture sector, which makes up a quarter of global emissions that link climate change to food security. Therefore, the UAE has invested significantly in agricultural technologies.
Internationally, the United Arab Emirates has launched, in cooperation with the United States, the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate), which is a key international initiative, with the participation of more than 35 countries. . The country is also preparing to host the 28th Conference of Parties (COP 28) in 2023.
The United Arab Emirates played an active role in the negotiations that led to the adoption of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, and facilitated international negotiations related by hosting international events.