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UAE calls for global action

posted on 07/12/2009: 954 views

With the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen beginning today, the UAE has agreed to strengthen its commitments to tackling climate change and has called for renewed global action.

The statement was a part of the joint pledge posted on the conference website during by foreign ministers of Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Iceland, Singapore and Slovenia, who are Jose Brito, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, Össur Skarphéinsson, George Yeo, Samuel Bogar respectively, during the weekend.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Foreign Minister and others warned that "The potential risks of unmitigated climate change are enormous”. "Therefore, a successful agreement in Copenhagen, with deep cuts in global emissions that limit global warming to 2°C, and taking into account the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, respective resources and national circumstances, is of paramount importance,” the statement said.

The UAE is sending a delegation of senior government officials, including those from the Ministry of Environment and Water, to the meeting. The statement by the foreign ministers also said that they had decided to act collectively in favour of the environment. "We are striving for political balance, particularly regarding energy and water,” the statement said.

The ministers focused on different initiatives underway in their respective countries, with the UAE detailing the Masdar Initiative. The UAE has a limited natural supply of water, with less than 100 mm of rainfall per year, and the world's biggest carbon footprint.

"Climate change will seriously affect existing water resources, making water a strategic asset of the future,” the statement said. "The efficiency of water usage can be increased through technological improvements, changes in human behaviour and better water management.”

The UAE fulfils its requirement for water from about 30 desalination plants and has one of the highest rates of water consumption at 550 litres per person per day. "The United Arab Emirates focuses its efforts on reducing water consumption and improving the efficiency of water supply,” the statement said.

Slab tariff systems such as those introduced by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority are aimed at reducing water use by charging the heaviest users the most. The ministers said all parties needed to work together to make inroads against climate change. – Khaleej Times


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