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THE COUNTRY & THE ENVIRONMENT - ENVIRONMENT


Abu Dhabi petrochemical producers promote Waste Free Environment


posted on 12/02/2016

ABU DHABI, 12th February, 2016 (WAM) -- Committed to supporting UAE National Environment Day on the 4th of February, over 3,000 people, including students from schools in Abu Dhabi and the Western Region, joined hands in cleaning-up the Shweihat beach at Jebel Dhanna near Ruwais, and Al Rahba beach in Abu Dhabi, on 9th and 11th February 2016, respectively. The participants collected big amounts of waste as part of the Waste Free Environment campaign jointly organised by Borouge, FERTIL and ChemaWEyaat.
Rashed Saud Al Shamsi, Petrochemicals Director at ADNOC, Chairman of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association, GPCA, and Chairman of Borouge, Abdulaziz Alhajri, CEO of Abu Dhabi Polymers Company, Dr. Ali Obaid Al Yabhuni, CEO of FERTIL, and Saleh Al Mansoori, Madeenat ChemaWEyaat Responsible Care Manager, have joined the school children and members of the community at the annual event in Abu Dhabi.
Held annually under the initiative of the GPCA, the fourth edition of the Waste Free Environment campaign has successfully contributed to enhancing the public awareness about environment protection and the necessary actions that should be taken to stop the irresponsible disposal of waste. The two campaigns took place in cooperation with Tadweer, the Centre of Waste Management – Abu Dhabi, and with great support from the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, EAD, Abu Dhabi Education Council, ADEC, and Abu Dhabi Municipality.
This year's Waste Free Environment campaign is, once again, being held simultaneously across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait. Being a global plastics company, Borouge is extending the same clean-up campaign outside the UAE to include Mumbai in India on 14th February, and Shanghai in China on 19th February 2016.
"Borouge, together with FERTIL and ChemaWEyaat, are committed to educate the public, mainly the young generation, about the dangers of littering that harms the nature and the marine life and promote the importance of environment preservation," said Abdulaziz Alhajri, CEO Abu Dhabi Polymers Company. "Holding the Waste Free Environment clean-up campaign sequentially in the Western Region, Abu Dhabi, Mumbai and Shanghai embodies our strong commitment to protect the environment where we live and work and contribute towards encouraging the responsible disposal of waste and recycling."
The campaign provided Borouge with an opportunity to highlight the great value that plastics bring to society and that plastics are not the main reason behind the litter problem, but the irresponsible behaviour of people who leave their waste behind carelessly is, Alhajri explained.
"The collection and recycling of plastic waste is one of Borouge's key principles of sustainability and social responsibility, and through such clean-up campaigns we call upon the local community and all environmental organisations to join efforts and encourage the public to stop littering and adopt sustainable practices of waste management to keep our environment safe and preserved." – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/general/1395291465085.html

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Sheikh Zayed’s legacy encourages local students to embrace sustainability as a lifestyle


posted on 05/02/2016

In support of the UAE's 19th National Environment Day, the Zayed Future Energy Prize that represents the environmental vision of the UAE's founding father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, has called on local schools to submit a project proposal to the Global High Schools category of the prize's 9th edition.
The Zayed Future Energy Prize is urging students and teachers to work hand-in-hand to submit detailed project proposals on measurable initiatives that promote renewable energy and sustainability in an academic environment. These may include reductions in energy or water consumption or carbon emissions. The winning high school will be eligible for a grant of up to US$100,000 that enables the project's implementation.
Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, Director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize and Director of Sustainability at Masdar, said: "The Prize was established to honour the legacy of our founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (God bless his soul), who championed environmental sustainability. Considering the challenges the UAE faces from climate change, and water and energy security, there is a pressing need for our youth to develop a commitment to advancing renewable energy, environmental stewardship and sustainable development, if we are to successfully meet the genuine challenges our nation will face in future.
"Because we are committed to achieving a sustainable future through actions instead of words, our leadership launched the Global High School's category in 2012 in support of educating future generations about sustainability. We believe it is important to provide incentives for this work."
Abu Dhabi's own Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Bangladesh Islamia School was awarded the prize in the Global High Schools category, Asia region, during the category's inaugural year in 2013. The prize funds were allocated to install smart solar panels, which now supply 30% of the school's energy needs, and develop a new passive wind tower cooling system, which is in a pilot stage.
The Global High Schools category seeks to inspire students of ages 11-19 to obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to face critical global energy issues in the future by establishing environmental awareness and sustainability initiatives on high school campuses. Now in its fourth year, the category has empowered youth at 19 schools around the world to incorporate renewable energy and sustainability into their school curricula, daily operations and local communities.
Schools wishing to compete for the prize should enter a submission online at www.ZayedFutureEnergyPrize.com. Submissions will close on June 27, 2016, with the prize presented to winners at an awards ceremony in Abu Dhabi in January 2017. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291161106.html

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President Khalifa calls for continued efforts to preserve the environment and natural resources


posted on 04/02/2016

President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has called for continuing the efforts of developing a legislative environment that will ensure the conservation of natural resources and regulate the consumption of water and energy.
In a speech on the occasion of the 19th edition of National Environment Day, which is marked on February 4th, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa also called for launching educational programmes to raise awareness of the importance of the sustainability of natural resources and the use of clean renewable energy for the country's development process and its objectives. The efforts are to "successfully implement the initiative that we launched in 2012 which aims to make our country a leader in the green economy," he said.
His Highness also said on the occasion, which is being held under the slogan, ‘The Green Economy: Innovation and Sustainability', "Our country is now blessed with greenery and continues to apply its strategies on conserving the environment and its natural resources, implementing its programmes for water and energy consumption, and increasing its natural reserves to achieve Vision 2021 for a sustainable environment and well-being, inspired by the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan - an environmental advocate, leader of greenery and founder of sustainable environment - who encouraged agriculture so that it became a way of life in the UAE."
Sheikh Khalifa pointed out, "Since the founding of our nation we successfully planted tens of millions of trees, built dams, and reclaimed vast tracts of land to revitalise agriculture."
He continued, "We have established 21 onshore and offshore natural reserves, which make up 7% of the UAE land mass, in an effort to preserve wildlife and marine species, reduce pollution, have clean air, and a healthy sustainable environment for future generations to enjoy."
His Highness the President also stressed that "Environmental effort is a collective responsibility which requires the participation of everyone who lives in a civilised society," adding that each individual is "An ambassador for the environment and should be keen on ensuring its cleanliness, its sustainability, and work on reducing emissions of polluting gases." – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291106312.html

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Environment Minister: National Environment Day is an important milestone in local environmental efforts


posted on 04/02/2016

Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, has said that the National Environment Day, launched 19 years ago, is an important milestone in local environmental efforts. The yearly celebration reaffirms the ministry's commitment to promote environmental protection and development, and highlights important issues for inclusion in the national agenda. These objectives form part of UAE Vision 2021 and the federal and local governments' strategies.
In a press statement issued on the occasion, Dr. bin Fahad said that the unwavering commitment and support for environmental protection and development efforts by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, have made a positive impact on broader relevant initiatives. This effect is evident today, with the environmental dimension of all development plans now being valued and maximised, thus continuously improving the country's position on the global map.
He expressed his appreciation and gratitude to His Highness the UAE President, saying that the wise leader's support has transformed the occasion into a national celebration to encourage higher participation from society.
He continued, "We commemorate this year's National Environment Day under the theme, ‘The Green Economy: Innovation and Sustainability', a few days after the retreat on the UAE's post-oil economy. The concept of the green economy, which depends mainly on creativity and innovation, will be an essential element of our economic policy for the country's post-oil development phase adopted by our wise leadership."
With respect to the key progress made in the implementation of the UAE's green development strategy, the Minister explained that 2015 saw important accomplishments for the initiative such as the establishment of mechanisms, indicators and priorities for the implementation, preparation and adoption of related major programmes by the Council of Ministers. The Emirates Green Development Council and its national committees were also formed last year.
Last year, the first report on the green economy was launched in the UAE to discuss the country's progress towards a more sustainable economic framework as well as the pioneering study on local green investment and the banking and finance sectors. Additionally, a series of national meetings on economic investment opportunities, green investments and procurement, and national human capacity building in green finance was organised.
"Coinciding with the National Year of Innovation, a wide range of projects and initiatives for relevant areas was launched in 2015. The Emirates Green Development Council, in particular, has developed a green agenda with a portfolio of 96 initiatives and projects developed in accordance with the development plans of more than 50 concerned federal and local authorities. We have mentioned this in our second national report issued last month on the state of the country's green economy."
"In the final year of the three-year campaign cycle designed for the National Environment Day celebration, we will focus on sustainability which represents the third element of the programme's slogan. The concept of sustainability was highlighted by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan in his speech during the National Environment Day celebration last year. He said, ‘Green and sustainable management of the economy aims to conserve natural resources, preserve heritage, ensure the well-being, health and stability of each individual, and safeguard the basic rights of future generations by protecting them from waste and attrition'," Bin Fahad said.
He added, "We will begin this year's event with the launching of the ‘Sustainability is a Lifestyle' initiative as part of the national strategy to educate, raise environmental awareness, and promote positive environmental behaviour among the public. It also aims to help achieve the environmental objectives and targets of UAE Vision 2021, the National Agenda, and the UAE's green development strategy."
At the end of his statement, the Minister commended the efforts of all relevant national authorities in boosting the country's green economy initiatives. He emphasised that the integration of policies and programmes among various local stakeholders, the private sector's broad participation, and society's growing sense of responsibility, constitute the main pillars of the ongoing process towards nurturing a green economy and turning the Emirates Green Development Council's strategic objectives into a reality.
He also emphasised the need for awareness on the challenges as well as requirements in establishing an economy that is ‘not dependent on oil or vagaries of the market' as referred to by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291106861.html

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Hamdan bin Zayed: UAE is a leading state regionally in the field of green development


posted on 04/02/2016

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, EAD, has stressed that the United Arab Emirates is aware of its responsibility in protecting nature and limiting the impact of economic growth and urbanisation on the natural habitats and ecosystems, as a leading state regionally in the field of green development.
Sheikh Hamdan expressed his pride in the care and support given by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Honorary President of EAD, to environmental efforts in general and the activities and programmes of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi in particular, which, he said, have had the greatest impact in promoting environmental protection and natural resources conservation efforts.
In his speech on the occasion of National Environment Day, which falls tomorrow, 4th February, being held under the slogan, "Green Economy : Innovation : Sustainability", Sheikh Hamdan said that the Abu Dhabi government is committed to further strengthening the UAE green economy model and to boost the country's stature as a role model in the field of sustainable development.
He said that the EAD will continue to work on achieving its goals in collaboration with its partners at national and international levels, to preserve the achievements that have been made so far, and to embody the vision of Abu Dhabi to build a modern and contemporary city and to ensure that the United Arab Emirates achieves leadership in the field of environmental sustainability. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291099489.html

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Ministry of Environment and Water kicks off 19th National Environment Day celebrations


posted on 29/01/2016

Under the patronage of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE's nationwide celebrations of the 19th National Environment Day officially kicked off yesterday.
Dr. Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, made this announcement at a press conference at the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre, SZDLC, at Al Ain Zoo's UAE World Desert. The press conference was attended by more than 50 representatives from various municipalities, environmental organisations, and government and private entities.
On the occasion, Bin Fahad said: "I would like to express my deepest gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his support. We extend our appreciation to the wise leadership for the state's steadfast and continuous support towards the development and preservation of the environment."
"I would also like to take this occasion to express my deepest thanks and appreciation to Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and to their Highnesses, Members of the Supreme Council, for their full interest and concern for the environment. Their support has helped reinforce the UAE's position as one of the leading countries in terms of environmental protection initiatives in accordance with the regional and international standards."
Bin Fahad noted that the National Environment Day, which began 19 years ago and falls every February 4 of the year, is fundamental in raising interest and public awareness on pressing environmental issues. The annual commemoration has bolstered ongoing efforts to protect the environment, which is an essential component of UAE Vision 2021, UAE National Agenda, and environmental strategies of federal and local government authorities. The UAE's environmental awareness jumped from 63 per cent in 2014 to 68 per cent in 2015, according to the Ministry's annual survey.
Dr. Bin Fahad added that this year marks the conclusion of the three-year campaign cycle designed for the occasion under the slogan ‘The Green Economy: Innovation & Sustainability.' The first year of the campaign focused on the aspects of green economy, the first element of the program's logo. It involved defining and outlining social and environmental advantages as we well as setting terms for green development according to the UAE strategy.
During its second year, the focus was on innovation, the second element of the logo, to coincide with the National Year of Innovation and the National Strategy for Innovation initiatives. Programs were developed to emphasise innovation and its important role it plays in the country's efforts to shift green economy from a traditional economic framework. This is an essential component of UAE Vision 2021, which aims to develop a national economy driven by knowledge and innovation.
This year, Dr. Bin Fahad said efforts will be on sustainability, the third element of the logo, as the main component of green economy. His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan cited sustainability during his speech in last year's National Environment Day celebration. His Highness said: "Green and sustainable management of the economy aims to conserve natural resources, preserve heritage, ensure the well-being, health and stability of each individual, and safeguard the basic rights of future generations by protecting them from waste and attrition."
The Environment Minister also announced that this year's programme will feature the launch of the ‘Sustainability is a Lifestyle' initiative developed under the national strategy program to increase environmental education and awareness. The initiative aims to serve as the general framework for all local environmental awareness programs, encourage the adoption of a sustainable lifestyle through interaction, and increase the government and private sectors' role in instilling positive cultural and environmental behaviours.
To be implemented until 2020, the initiative will raise awareness in society and business community, implement best industry practices to ensure high quality of life, encourage improved consumption patterns to ensure sustainability of resources, and reduce the negative impact human activities on natural resources.
The Ministry of Environment and Water, different municipalities, and other local environmental bodies will organise around 60 various activities and events throughout the year as part of the celebrations. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395290848060.html

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Environment minister issues resolution on restricted pesticides


posted on 22/01/2016

Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, has issued a ministerial resolution to regulate the distribution and use of banned and restricted pesticides in the country, given the risks they pose to public health.
Under the ministerial resolution No. 30 of 2016 which amends the ministerial resolution No. 771 of 2014 pertaining to banned and restricted pesticides in the UAE, all companies, individuals and government and private institutions are prohibited from producing, manufacturing, installing, processing, importing, or using any item of banned and restricted pesticides in the country.
The resolution allows companies and institutions to register restricted pesticides, based on the specific purpose of each pesticide. It is also not permitted to register or import it for purposes other than those they are registered for.
The resolution states that all companies and institutions that have the right to register pesticides, are allowed to use the restricted pesticide only for the purposes they are specified for.
The ministry stressed that the companies, institutions, and individuals working in pesticides should comply with the rules and regulations in e-Guide regarding registered pesticides in the UAE.
The ministry also warned all companies and suppliers not to violate these regulations, and added that violations shall incur penalties as per provisions of the Federal Law No. 41 for1992. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395290600365.html

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Dubai ‘bio-dome’ will be home to 3,000 plants and animals


posted on 19/01/2016

A Dubai company is planning to build a tropical rainforest in the city.
Scheduled to open in the next six months, The Green Planet – in the City Walk retail area in Jumeirah – will include a bio-dome to recreate a tropical forest in an enclosed ecosystem.
Meraas, the Dubai holding company behind the project, said it "recreates the enchanting world of a tropical forest with its rich biodiversity of over 3,000 plants and animals”.
"It is built around the desire to contribute to environmental consciousness in the region,” the company said.
"As part of this priority, The Green Planet will aim to not only impress visitors with a novel green oasis in the city, but at the same time ensure that they enjoy an up-close educational and fun experience.”
The company behind The Green Planet said it has been designed with sustainability in mind, having received the Leed (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification and is fully compliant with the Dubai Municipality green building regulations and specifications.
"The Green Planet is set to inspire people of all ages and nationalities to learn about and care more for every single plant and animal that inhabits the Earth.”
Also included under the roof of the bio-dome will be exhibitions and displays encouraging visitors to learn about tropical ecosystems.
"The highly personalised encounters with plants and animals will motivate children to learn fascinating facts, while at the same time instilling respect for the intricacy and fragility of the environment,” the company said.
Meraas is also behind Dubai's Boxpark, Splash Pad and Reel Cinemas. – The National - http://www.thenational.ae/uae/education/dubai-bio-dome-will-be-home-to-3000-plants-and-animals

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Mohamed bin Zayed Majlis hosts lecture on renewable energy


posted on 18/01/2016

The majlis of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, hosted this evening the lecture titled: "The Resolutions of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change: Implications and Opportunities, delivered by Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The lecture was attended by Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of the Federal National Council, H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and CEO of Masdar, Adnan Amin, Director-General of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), a number of ministers and senior officials.
Figueres thanked Sheikh Mohamed for inviting her to deliver the lecture at his majlis, which has become one of the scientific beacons in the UAE and the region as well.
She noted that the Climate Change Agreement struck in December with the international consensus "is a true translation of the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan 50 years ago.
Figueres said at COP 21 in December in Paris, governments reached an historic climate change agreement. The Paris Agreement unites the world in action to meet the challenge of climate change and can be the spark that ignites a new model of global growth.
More than 150 Heads of State and Government opened COP 21 and expressed inspiring support for an ambitious agreement. The conference featured countless examples of business and investors, cities and regions already acting on climate change. After the final gavel fell, hundreds of these stakeholders worldwide pledged to make the Paris Agreement a success. This is a truly a turning point.
"The engines of our economy now must remain firmly pointed towards a future that ensures every country can meet or exceed their contribution to the Paris Agreement. Investment, industry and innovation all have a role to play in establishing a new model of development that is both sustainable and within the exigencies of science. This is the moment to transform global growth," she said.
She added that this moment is a great opportunity. "A rapid and well managed transition to a model of growth aligned with the Paris Agreement is best achieved with active engagement by those who will meet the energy, food, water and other resource needs of the growing global population. The energy leaders of today can and must lead us to a tomorrow where the growth of resilient communities is powered by clean energy and supported by sustainable lifestyles."
Figueres noted that the Gulf Region certainly can be counted among today's energy leaders. "In the region, we already see a diversification of economies that bodes well for our common future. In the United Arab Emirates, the priority given to a transition to a knowledge-based economy and the creation of Masdar City are a test-bed for sustainable, low-emission living and testament to the country's leadership. Recent partnerships set to lower the climate footprint of crucial water desalinisation practices and innovative new techniques for storing energy are key elements of the transformation."
She added that these actions in the UAE complement the focus on solar energy throughout the region, a focus that indicates the shift to cleaner, greener growth is by now inevitable and irreversible. "The Paris Agreement represents a major opportunity for the UAE and the wider region. More critically, the Agreement is aligned with the UAE's comprehensive plans and visions for economic diversification."
Figueres said achieving a sustainable future vision is especially crucial for the developing world. "This moment is also an opportunity to lift people out of poverty, to increase equity and to safeguard the most vulnerable. By working together as nations, as regions and as one global community, the results of COP 21 can galvanise durable success at a planetary scale."
She added, "This is our moment to leave the legacy of a stable planet and a prosperous future. We need strong leadership from national governments to sign the Paris Agreement and take us quickly to ratification. We need strong leadership from the private sector to join the Paris Pledge for Action and take us quickly to a new model of growth. Together, we will overcome this century's greatest challenge and open opportunity for generations to come." – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395290410896.html

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Abu Dhabi and Japan discuss maximising energy efficiency solutions


posted on 18/01/2016

Held under the patronage of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, ADNOC, the Abu Dhabi-Japan Energy Efficiency Improvement Forum kicked off yesterday at the Sheikh Khalifa Energy Complex in Abu Dhabi.
The forum aims to showcase the global leading practices in the energy efficiency landscape, especially exploring the Japanese experience in this domain, as well as to share best practices in energy efficiency and explore avenues for further collaboration on implementation of energy efficiency technologies and measures in the UAE.
Abdulla Nasser Al Suwaidi, CEO of ADNOC, and Yosuke Takagi, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, MITI, Japan inaugurated the forum in the presence of senior managers, experts and executives from the ADNOC Group of Companies and their counterparts from Japanese companies.
In his keynote speech at the forum, Abdalla Nasser Al Suwaidi said, "We meet at a time of a profound shift in the global energy market. The global energy demand is set to grow, putting more pressure on the global energy and environmental systems. These challenges mandate that we unite our efforts and to find more innovative and sustainable solutions to improve energy efficiency at our operating sites, homes, buildings, schools and the community at large. Saving energy and using it more efficiently has a direct impact on climate change, reducing emissions, increasing profitability, and boosting local economy "As a key energy player, ADNOC is at the heart of this strategy, considering energy efficiency as a key strategic priority. ADNOC has developed and implemented many energy efficiency initiatives across its group of companies. From carbon dioxide capturing and injection to cutting flaring levels, working towards achieving zero water discharge, to developing an integrated operational excellence strategy."
On his part, Yosuke Takagi, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, delivered a speech in which he commended cooperation between Japan and the UAE in various domains, particularly in the energy efficiency field, stressing the importance of adopting an enhanced energy saving and reducing consumption solutions, and the use of renewable energy sources in order to protect the Earth and to reduce environmental pollution and climate change.
"The UAE today has embarked on a solid path to energy sustainability, with a determined vision to achieve energy security while delivering unprecedented levels of efficiency, Takagi said.
During the forum, representatives from leading Japanese companies will deliver several presentations on energy savings techniques, energy consumption trends and how the UAE can develop comprehensive energy efficiency systems in the power sector, buildings and smart cities etc., among others. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395290392430.html

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RAK, Fujairah to impose environment levy


posted on 10/01/2016

The Governments of Ra's al-Khaimah and Fujairah are planning to impose an environmental levy on all their natural resources products as part of legislation to support their policies to reduce pollution of the environment, to increase environmental awareness and to contribute to the sustainability of industries exploiting natural resources.
Dr. Saif Al Ghais, Executive Director of Ra's al-Khaimah's Environment Protection and Development Authority said that the measure seeks to make a contribution towards the necessary measures to implement environmental policies in the two emirates, with the aim of reducing pollution, protecting the environment and supporting development and infrastructure projects in the environmental context.
Saif Al Afkham, Chairman of the Board of the Fujairah Natural Resources Corporation, said that the introduction of the tariff will contribute to the funding of environmental awareness and of technological and industrial initiatives to promote conservation of the environment. He added that a systematic regulatory regime will be introduced and implemented to obtain the maximum benefits from the new levy.
He said that the new levy will also help to increase the awareness of companies and the public at large about the negative impact of activities that cause harm to the environment. . – Emirates News Agency, WAM -
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Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi releases annual report highlighting 2014 achievements


posted on 22/12/2015

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, EAD, has released its annual report for 2014 in both English and Arabic, highlighting its efforts and commitment to protecting and enhancing air quality, groundwater, marine water quality, soil and the biodiversity of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi's desert and marine ecosystem. The report outlines the various partnerships the EAD enjoys with the public and private sectors, non-governmental entities and environmental organisations at the local and global scale.
The EAD's top accomplishments implemented throughout 2014 are summarised in the report, and include the inception of a new sustainable fresh water reserve in Liwa. EAD also developed new policies to protect marine water quality and support environmental sustainability in the emirate, and also conducted the Abu Dhabi Emirate Terrestrial Baseline Survey which provided valuable information on the important species and their distribution, with the information having contributed to declaring new protected areas.
By the end of 2014, EAD developed the marine and terrestrial protected area network representing 13.2% of the marine biome, and the terrestrial protected areas (TPAs) representing 10.5% of the terrestrial biome of Abu Dhabi Emirate. In addition, it successfully completed the mapping of Abu Dhabi's Terrestrial and Marine Habitats Land Use and Land Cover.
In his message, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region, and Chairman of EAD, said, "We live in a world where our environment and climate is globally connected. Mankind is altering the climate through emissions, particularly greenhouse gases, which in turn are altering sea levels and the chemistry of our oceans. The quality of our air and marine water today is a result of not only our own actions, but those of our neighbours with whom we also rely on food and other resources.
"Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important that at a Federal level, as an emirate and as individuals, we act as noble global citizens, minimising our environmental impact and providing regional and global leadership where we can. The role of the EAD to support this work has never been more important. We also see globally more and more species becoming threatened through direct persecution and loss of habitat."
"EAD contributes to global conservation efforts in a number of ways. We play a significant global role in supporting dugongs and raptors by supporting the work of the Convention of Migratory Species. The Arabian Gulf, and in particular the waters of Abu Dhabi, are home to one of the world's largest populations of dugongs. The UAE is also home to a range of 42 species of African-Eurasian migratory birds of prey, including the endangered Saker Falcon, Sooty Falcon and the Egyptian Vulture. The development of a Global Action Plan for the Saker Falcon is very encouraging and we hope it will help in developing sustainable falconry in the UAE and promote long-term conservation of the species, which is an integral part of our tradition" Sheikh Hamdan added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395289489318.html

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Ministry of Environment and Water signs MoU with International Organisations to develop protected and hydroponics systems


posted on 22/12/2015

DUBAI, 22nd December, 2015 (WAM) -- The Ministry of Environment and Water and The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, FAO, International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) and The International Centre for Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Raffles Hotel Dubai, in the presence of Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water.
The MoU was signed by the Abdul Rahim Al Hammadi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry and by Mahdi al-Idrisi sub-regional coordinator for the GCC and Yemen on behalf of FAO, while the MoU was signed by Dr. Asmahan Al Wafi, General Director of the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) on behalf of the centre and by Aziz Awlad Bilqasim, Regional Coordinator in of the ICARDA on behalf of the centre.
Dr. Rashid said that the signing of the MoU comes as part of the ministry's interest in strengthening the existing strategic partnership between the ministry and the FAO, ICBA and ICARDA in order to provide the appropriate infrastructure to farming protected and advanced systems and the design and implementation of programmes and projects in innovations and modern agricultural techniques that will be implemented in the agricultural innovation centre in the ministry to promote protected agriculture, as well as the organisation of workshops for farmers, the private sector and investors to briefed on innovative solutions provided by the centre.
Under the terms of the Memorandum, the parties will exchange experiences in the areas of joint action and develop a framework for cooperation based on clear foundations for the promotion of mutual cooperation and exchange of experiences related to the MoU to achieve the fruitful cooperation between the parties and strengthen ties and exchange of information in the interests of the parties.
The parties agreed to hold regular meetings to discuss technical and operational issues aiming at progress in achieving the objectives of the Memorandum, organisation of seminars, joint workshops and training programmes in order to share knowledge and the exchange of expertise to build the capacity of workers in the field of protected agriculture, in addition to the exchange of information and relevant technical reports between all parties to take advantage of then in achieving the objectives of the MoU, in addition to providing periodic reports on a regular basis to all parties. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/general/1395289488036.html

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Cop21 talks ‘great success’ for UAE


posted on 14/12/2015

The Government and industry have welcomed the Cop21 accord to cap global warming, saying the UAE negotiated strongly and left more assured of a renewable future.
"For the UAE, the conference as a whole was a great success and we got what we needed,” said Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, head of energy and climate change at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Dr Al Zeyoudi said the agreement, which was reached in Paris on Saturday night, achieved the UAE's three goals – it was signed by all countries involved, set ambitious plans and allowed for flexibility, which was a key factor for the negotiating team.
The UAE delegation argued for allowing countries to commit according to their circumstances and abilities.
The alternative would be for 195 countries to adhere to the same commitments – from developed countries in colder climates to smaller developing island countries in the tropics.
"I encourage everyone, developed and developing countries, to work together,” Dr Al Zeyoudi said. "Our main objectives are already met.
"What we want from such an agreement is actually mutually beneficial to our plan of diversifying our economy.”
The UAE had already planned to achieve the accord's goals before the summit by providing 24 per cent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2021.
The accord commits countries to reset "national determined contributions” for carbon emissions every five years, by which time technological advances could mean better results.
Dr Ahmad Belhoul, chief executive of Masdar, said that the agreement showed the viability of renewables.
Since 2006, the company has invested Dh6.24 billion in clean energy and research.
"If the watchword in our industry leading up to Paris was ‘commitment', with this historic accord the next phase will be all about ‘action',” Dr Belhoul said.
"Now is the time for governments, business and citizens alike to turn their climate pledges into tangible projects and initiatives.”
He said the Paris agreement supported the UAE's position on all important items regarding finance, co-benefits of economic diversification and response measures.
"History has been written,” said Ivano Iannelli, chief executive of Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence. "Virtually every country has agreed on ambition, finance, mitigation and transparency among many other themes that have never seen such a convergence.
Mr Iannelli said the conference was an achievement for the UAE, but in particular he commended the job the negotiators did.
"We congratulate France for the efforts towards the climate accords and the efforts of our own UAE team of negotiators who have worked relentlessly until the early hours to ensure that the UAE is well positioned to lead our society towards the future,” he said.
Those who have criticised the Cop21 agreement said that it did not go far enough to tackle the world's environmental problems.
"While our political leaders walk, our movements run, and we must keep running,” said Kumi Naidoo, international executive director of Greenpeace.
"We came to the Cop with hope. Not a hope based on the commitments we wished our leaders would make, but a hope built on movements that we have built together with many others.”
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week next month will be the first global environment focused event following Cop21. – The National - http://www.thenational.ae/uae/cop21-talks-great-success-for-uae

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UAE at forefront of addressing climate change through the advancement of technology and innovation


posted on 12/12/2015

PARIS: As more than 190 nations finalise an agreement to tackle climate change at the 21st session of the Conference of Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, the United Arab Emirates is continuing to demonstrate how it is fostering innovation and new business models that spur a new age of sustainable growth.
"Innovation and technological breakthroughs are critical to addressing climate, but also to ensuring the sustainable development and of the UAE economy," said Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Permanent Representative to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Director of Energy and Climate Change at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Examples of cutting edge clean energy initiatives in the UAE include the 100 MW Shams 1 concentrated solar power plant and the 5000 MW Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The UAE is also close to completing the Middle East's first commercial-scale project for carbon, capture, usage and storage.
"Through Masdar, our renewable energy company and Masdar Institute, our world-class innovation and research institute, the UAE is earning a global reputation for advancing promising technologies across the spectrum of clean energy and other sustainability sectors," said Dr. Al Zeyoudi.
Innovative projects at Masdar and the Masdar Institute include a pilot programme to test energy-efficient ways of producing drinking water. The pilot couples solar power with cutting-edge seawater reverse osmosis desalination, which could solve the critical challenge of water security in the UAE. Research is also underway on how to produce sustainable, viable biofuels derived from desert plants irrigated with seawater through other partners like Boeing and Etihad.
Supporting these UAE innovative initiatives are two global partnerships announced at COP21, including Mission Innovation and the International Solar Alliance, which aim to advance the development and deployment of clean energy technology. The partnerships also support the UAE's national target to achieve a 24 percent clean energy mix by 2021.
"We view the challenge of climate change as an opportunity to commercialise new technologies that span across the sustainability sector, including energy, water, infrastructure and much more, and this can only happen with innovation and partnerships," Al Zeyoudi added.
The UAE's investments in research and development, innovation, and technology are setting a clear pathway toward a sustainable future and position the UAE as a global leader committed to climate action.
The new global climate agreement is expected to encourage innovation globally as countries commit to finding sustainable solutions to climate change in the context of their own national circumstances, as the UAE has done. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395289109435.html

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Fabius hails UAE’s major role in Climate Change Summit


posted on 11/12/2015

PARIS: French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who heads the 21st Session of the Conference of Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, has commended the active role played by the UAE delegation at the world environment summit.
He told the Emirates News Agency (WAM) in a statement that the UAE has been a major player given its effective role to make the event a success.
"I was honoured to visit the UAE pavilion on the sidelines of the Summit, where I met the UAE official delegation and held discussions. We share the same vision and orientation with respect to the issues of the reduction of global warming and reduction of the carbon dioxide proportion in the air to protect the planet's climate," he said.
Fabius expressed his admiration at the huge projects unveiled by the UAE in the areas of clean energy and renewable energy during the Summit, adding that these projects will make the UAE a major player when it comes to tackling global warming.
He noted that he has been briefed of these projects, deeming them the best and smartest investment options.
Regarding strong friendship and quality of investments in the area of technology, the French foreign minister said, "We will work together in the best interests of France and the UAE in the area of clean energy, exactly like our co-operation in other fields."
He congratulated the UAE leadership and people on the 44th National Day.
While visiting the UAE pavilion, Fabius expressed his admiration at the participation of the UAE in terms of various activities and design and beauty of the pavilion. He held talks with the UAE delegation. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395289068784.html

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UAE highlights role of innovation in tackling climate change at COP21 side event


posted on 10/12/2015

PARIS: The United Arab Emirates shared insights in accelerating technology and innovation as a solution to climate change at the Lima-Paris Action Agenda Innovation Day event, led by the International Energy Agency at the 21st meeting of the conference of parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention.
During the panel session titled, Enhancing Innovation Capacity Building and Financing in Developing Countries, Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Permanent Representative to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Director of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, discussed government roles in helping to remove barriers to financing and to building capacity.
"Innovation is crucial for all countries in addressing the impacts of climate change," said Dr. Al Zeyoudi. "Through innovative solutions, the UAE is diversifying its economy, attracting foreign investment, and forging public-private partnerships to deploy renewable energy projects in developing nations, all of which also contribute in reducing carbon emissions."
In a separate panel discussion titled, Financing Innovation to Take Action to the Next Level, Masdar CEO Dr. Ahmad Belhoul spoke on the UAE's actions to deploy clean energy technologies domestically and abroad.
"Deployment of clean energy innovation is fundamental to economic growth and prosperity," said Dr. Belhoul. "Many of Masdar's projects feature innovative, systematic solutions to pressing challenges of climate change and have strong potential to become game changers in the industry, while still being commercially viable."
The panel sessions were part of a series of discussions to showcase successes and plans to scale up clean energy research and development to deliver energy sector transformation. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395289039183.html

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UAE delivers National Statement on Climate Change, encourages political consensus at COP21


posted on 09/12/2015

PARIS: The United Arab Emirates has delivered its national statement on climate change at the 21st session of the Conference of Parties, COP21, at the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention, UNFCCC, in Paris, France, encouraging nations to protect future generations from the impacts of climate change and stressing the economic and social benefits of climate action.
"This year we have seen an unprecedented display of climate action by countries all around the world, with more than 185 nations submitting climate action plans ahead of COP21," said Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change. "This proves that all countries are taking action to address climate change and the Paris agreement must build on these actions."
During his remarks, Dr. Al Jaber outlined the UAE's vision for a meaningful climate agreement, saying, "The world needs a flexible system, one which allows all countries to develop climate actions in line with their national priorities and circumstances.
"It should provide the appropriate support to developing countries, including the fulfilment of funding commitments made by developed countries to help nations with limited means to cope with impacts of climate change."
Dr. Al Jaber also highlighted the UAE's position as a global leader in climate action and reiterated the country's efforts to diversify its economy through new technologies and partnerships. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395288974521.html

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Masdar CEO highlights renewable energy as viable technology of choice at UN Foundation Earth to Paris Panel


posted on 09/12/2015

PARIS: Earth to Paris, the UN Foundation's dialogue platform in Paris during the COP21 negotiations hosted its day-long initiative, bringing together experts, advocates, and CEOs to discuss creative and impactful climate solutions to inspire bold, meaningful action for people and the planet.
Speakers from all over the world met to discuss how innovation, technology, and creativity are driving climate solutions and turning talk into ambitious climate action.
Dr. Ahmad Belhoul, CEO of Masdar, participated in a panel on leading the way to renewable energy, highlighting, "The whole vision of Masdar is to drive change in the renewable energy industry. We are never satisfied with where we are. We always want to push the boundaries – to improve existing methods or find new solutions that will be more effective, more efficient and more affordable. Our industry evolves rapidly, with new innovations and technologies appearing every day."
He added that "The scale of deployment is also increasing, so we are constantly looking at ways to be more proactive. We are first movers in the sector – we are a pioneer in renewable energy in the region and we are proud to be a test bed and a facilitator for students, start-ups and established companies to develop and implement their new, innovative projects, making renewables a viable technology of choice." – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395288993226.html

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World Energy Council and Masdar sign patronship agreement to address Global Sustainable Energy Access


posted on 09/12/2015

PARIS: The World Energy Council (WEC) and Masdar have signed a Patronship Agreement, announced on the side-lines of COP21 in Paris.
The WEC is a global multi-energy non-profit organisation that promotes the sustainable supply and use of energy and has an exclusive Patronship programme with 50 of the world's leading energy companies. Patronship companies are members of the Council who commit to engage with WEC on global issues and projects. The agreement was signed by Masdar CEO, Dr. Ahmad Belhoul and Marie-Jose Nadeau, Chair of the WEC.
Dr. Belhoul will participate in the WEC's annual global Energy Leaders' Summits. In addition, WEC will host a plenary session at the World Future Energy Summit during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January 2016.
"It is a privilege for Masdar to be part of such an esteemed organisation and to participate in the Patronship programme. Masdar has been at the forefront of the UAE's efforts to deploy clean energy at home and abroad, while driving sustainable economic growth, employment, innovation and prosperity. We are proud to partner with the WEC to expand access to sustainable energy across the globe and to enhancing educational, training and mentoring opportunities along with other WEC patrons," said Dr. Ahmad Belhoul, CEO of Masdar at the signing. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395288992888.html

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Sharjah Municipality to build seven air quality stations


posted on 09/12/2015

Seven air quality monitoring stations will be set up around the emirate to broadcast live data that can be accessed online by the public.
The stations, which will cost Dh5 million in total and form part of the Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Network, will be installed in residential and industrial areas and be manned by 12 staff.
They include Al Falaj, Al Buhaira, Al Rahmania, Industrial Area 3, the American University of Sharjah and Al Batayeh, with the seventh being a mobile station.
The move will bring the number of monitoring stations in Sharjah to 15.
According to Bee'ah, the emirate's environment and waste management company, the data gathered will be uploaded in real time to a website accessible by the public.
Levels of carbon monoxide, oxides of sulphur, oxides of nitrogen, ozone, as well as meteorological conditions such as temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, and atmospheric pressure will all be measured.
Hassan Altaffaq, assistant director for agriculture and environment at Sharjah Municipality, said rapid development and growth in the emirate might raise the level of pollution.
"Sharjah Municipality has made sure, for many years, to address the pollution resulting from industrial and cultural development, through legislation and laws that guarantee the commitment of institutions with the environmental standards set by the municipality.”
The new stations are part of a collaboration between Bee'ah, the municipality and the American University of Sharjah. One has already been deployed, with the others due to be set up soon.
They will keep track of a range of data, from the composition of the air to wide-ranging meteorological conditions, said Khaled Al Huraimel, group chief executive at Bee'ah. – The National - http://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/sharjah-municipality-to-build-seven-air-quality-stations

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UAE Pavilion at COP 21 highlights achievements in clean energy and sustainable development


posted on 08/12/2015

PARIS: In celebration of the United Arab Emirate's visionary leadership sustainability, the country showcased its accomplishments in clean energy innovation at the UAE Pavilion at the 21st meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, France.
"Since the founding of our country, the UAE has been developing sustainable solutions to protect the interests of future generations and address the impacts of climate change" said Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change, during his visit to the pavilion.
"The UAE Pavilion is a creative display of our efforts that recognises the progress we have made to help move the world forward toward a sustainable future."
The UAE Pavilion highlighted the UAE's leadership in future energy innovations at home at abroad under four key pillars: energy, technology and innovation, global partnerships and deployment assistance, and sustainable development. Projects from the UAE's public and private sector were showcased throughout the pavilion, including renewable energy projects, clean technology research, energy efficiency initiatives, a commercial-scale carbon capture, use and storage project, and the development of solar-powered desalination plants.
"The UAE is the largest renewable energy investor in the region and the country is driving clean technology breakthroughs through research and development," said Dr. Al Jaber. "Our strategic approach in leveraging technology, innovation and global partnerships has yielded significant economic and social benefits in our pursuit to diversify our economy and protect our environment."
The country has set an ambitious goal to achieve a 24 percent clean energy mix by 2021, further strengthening its commitment to climate action.
In addition, recent UAE announcements such as Mission Innovation, a global effort to increase research and development investments in clean energy, and the International Solar Alliance, a coalition to promote the development and deployment of solar power, demonstrate the UAE's continued progress in sustainable development.
The UAE Pavilion is part of the La Galerie exhibition of low carbon solutions, held alongside COP21. Other exhibitors include governments, international organisations, and companies. The exhibition is open to all COP21 attendees and is expected to draw 50,000 visitors from December 2-9. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395288948598.html

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DEWA showcases UAE’s achievements in the transition towards a green economy and implementing green initiatives at COP21


posted on 08/12/2015

PARIS: Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy & MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), has delivered a speech in a session titled the Lima-Paris Action Agenda, organised by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Paris.
The speech is part of Al Tayer's participation in the UAE delegation to the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21). Al Tayer emphasised that the UAE is a pioneer in the transition towards a green economy, implementing green initiatives, adopting economic diversification and its commitment to achieving sustainable development, based on knowledge, innovation, and sustainable green growth, to achieve economic prosperity. This is achieved by launching ambitious initiatives in renewable energy, solar energy, smart grids and developing a strategy to reduce carbon emissions.
Al Tayer noted that the UAE was one of the first countries to support the international society to meet the challenge of climate change and one of the first nations to endorse the extension of the Kyoto protocol in 2005 to limit greenhouse gases in industrial countries. It was the first nation from the region to sign the Copenhagen Accord at COP15 to limit emissions.
Al Tayer called on all nations to work more closely and enhance cooperation to reach an agreement at COP21, noting that the great Arab historian Ibn Khuldoun said that the greater the social cohesion, the greater its economic growth. Al Tayer said he was confident that all nations will work together towards the greater good, as does the UAE.
"As mandated by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and to support the vision of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, we are moving forward with solar power projects in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will generate 1,000MW of solar power by 2020. The UAE has made considerable progress in bringing renewable and clean energy to the region, despite having one of the largest oil reserves in the world. Our capital, Abu Dhabi, is the first outside Europe and New York to house the headquarters of a United Nations Agency, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)," said Al Tayer.
Just a few days ago, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, launched the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to make Dubai a global centre of clean energy and green economy. The strategy sets the ambitious target of solar power generating 5,000MW by 2030, which will be 25% of Dubai's total power output, to save approximately up to 4 million tonnes per annum in emissions, the equivalent of planting about 100 million trees per annum. Dubai also aims to have solar panels on the rooftops of all buildings in the Emirate by 2030. By then, 80% of the waste will be converted into energy as well.
"We will not rest in 2030, as His Highness has decreed that the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 target is that 75% of Dubai's total power output will come from clean energy by 2050, so our city will have the lowest carbon footprint in the world by then. Our nation is fully within the sunbelt's higher levels of radiation and so our commitment to combatting climate change comes primarily in the form of harnessing that power to manage rising surface temperatures. We will continue our efforts through the Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence, formed in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme, to develop Clean Development Mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to pre-industrial levels to support this goal."
He said Sheikh Mohammed has committed a US$136 million (Dh 500 million) fund that will be invested directly in research and development for next-generation clean energy sources. And Dubai will host the Solar Decathlon Middle East in 2018 and 2020 to bring solar power and sustainability even closer together through innovation.
"Financing a transition to a low-carbon world requires determined and timely deployment of smart public policies. The Dubai Green Fund proposed by Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 will contribute over USD 27 billion (Dh 100 billion) towards clean energy projects in the Emirate and will establish a Free Trade Zone specifically for green investments. Dubai is already making best use of Public-Private Partnerships to make these projects a reality, as proven by Dubai getting the world's lowest tariff for utility scale solar power."
"The UAE has submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), together with 145 other countries, to tackle climate change, especially in terms of environmental stewardship of energy by conserving our natural resources, such as the increase of renewable targets I have mentioned, and the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy's Carbon Abatement Strategy to reduce carbon emissions by 16% by 2021."
He added that collectively, the INDCs can slow the rise in temperature. Although they are not sufficient to limit global temperature rising to the recommended level of 2 degrees Celsius this century, the INDCs assessed in the Emissions Gap report represent a historic step in the de-carbonising of our economies. To close the gap and limit the global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius by 2100, it is essential that a new universal climate agreement is adopted by governments at COP21.
"This is no myth. The reality is clear. Dubai is well-positioned to be a global leader in the transition towards a green and sustainable economy. This is based on its proven track record in working towards solar power and its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to the impact of climate change, provide solutions for sustainable green growth and living as part of the UAE's strategy, and to cooperate with other countries on these issues," Al Tayer said.
"We are here to work together with you to achieve these goals. We are increasing our momentum, driven by the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the UAE Vision 2021 and the Dubai Plan 2021, to grow sustainably and to reinforce Dubai's position as a global hub of clean energy and its transition towards a green economy."
"Climate change is a reality, and something our nation is not just talking something about, but is actively doing something about. Our nation takes its commitments and the vision of its leaders very seriously. We will make that brighter future for your children, our children, and their children. I trust that we are all united in this goal," concluded Al Tayer. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395288943864.html

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Sultan Al Jaber: UAE has cumulative experience in environment protection and tackling climate change challenges


posted on 07/12/2015

PARIS: Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change and Head of the UAE delegation participating at the 21st Session of the Conference of Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, has said that the UAE is participating with the high-level delegation, including representatives from ministries, competent authorities and companies.
He pointed out that the UAE through its participation in activities on the side-lines of the event is committed to reach an international agreement to limit the consequences of climate change. It is also keen to participate in the associated events and activities to highlight the UAE's leading position in the renewable energy and sustainability regionally and internationally."
Dr. Al Jaber made the remarks while visiting the UAE pavilion at the Conference. "Through our participation in the negotiations, we noted that all negotiators from other world countries accord us a respect due to the important and effective role being played by the UAE in these negotiations. We differ from the rest because we based our arguments on the scientific experiences on the ground through the initiatives of Masdar in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and The Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park."
"We are committed to a full and comprehensive agreement that takes into account standards of each party at the conference. We aim through our negotiations that the developed countries should adopt a clear and binding role towards the developing countries by activating their pledges to provide techniques and technology, participation and investment in cadres to develop the required technologies so as to reduce the repercussions of the climate change."
Dr. Al Jaber noted that the UAE has a great experience and long history in the field of environmental protection and minimising the impact of the climate change. He said, "We are committed through these initiatives and through our negotiations in Paris to finding a mechanism for the economic diversification. We create through these challenges economic opportunities with a sustainable nature."
On the launch of the global alliance for the desalination of water in Paris with more than 80 countries, Dr. Al Jaber said, "We hope to find a system or a comprehensive, complete and advanced strategy. In the UAE the energy sector depends on the water sector, while the water sector depends on the energy sector. Thus, they are integral parts. Therefore, the water sector is vital and very important for us in the UAE."
He explained that the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which is held in January each year, includes "the Global Water Summit" during which many partnerships with government and private sector are struck to develop the efficiency of production of electricity for water desalination, as well as the development of new techniques in water desalination, Dr. Al Jaber said the experiences launched in the Global Water Summit have considerably benefited the UAE.
He added, "We came to Paris to demonstrate our experiences in the sectors of clean energy and water during various sessions of the negotiations."
Al Jaber explained that the Global Clean Water Desalination Alliance, is a new initiative dealing with the issues of water desalination, involving many stakeholders of the sector, research institutions, universities and other organisations, government and private sectors of the UAE, Europe and North and South America and Asia. The alliance aims to address the issue of water scarcity and minimise the impact of the climate change and environmental impacts of these technologies, reduce dependence on energy and reduce the cost of energy used in water desalination.
He said, "We hope this meeting and platform will lead to an important starting point, we are optimistic about the current talks in Paris."
The minister pointed out that the UAE had an influential and effective role in these meetings, citing that the UAE and the French side held several meetings to discuss this file, most recently in September on the side-lines of meetings of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, where "we had a meeting attended by a number of foreign ministers and specialists from the public and private sectors to discuss the climate issue, in particular the meetings of Paris."
Dr. Sultan Al Jaber pointed out that the participation and attendance at the Conference of States Parties participating in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in the French capital Paris, shows how the world's attention to this issue. The world today pays special attention to the issue of climate to reduce its repercussions.
He explained that the presence of more than 150 heads of state and governments and more than 120 foreign ministers and the CEOs of companies and government institutions, shows that the world is already beginning to realise the importance of this issue and that there must be a solution and a comprehensive agreement that meets the needs of national issues relating to each individual state, and that the deal should have tangible and feasible economic results.
Dr. Al Jaber referred to the voluntary contributions made by more than 186 countries, adding that it is an unprecedented and unusual, praising the role of the Secretariat of the United Nations and the competent French authorities for this momentum and these contributions at the conference, which will have an important and effective role in reaching a comprehensive deal that satisfies each party's ambition. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395288901489.html

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MoFA highlights UAE’s pioneering role in addressing climate change during Sciences Po panel session in Paris


posted on 07/12/2015

Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Permanent Representative to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Director of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has discussed the Gulf region's transition to a new energy future yesterday during a Sciences Po panel session held on the side-lines the 21st meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, France.
"The Paris climate conference presents opportunities for the Gulf region to capitalise on technological advancements to boost economic progress and protect the environment," said Dr. Al Zeyoudi during his remarks. "Climate action aligns with the UAE's strategy to diversify our economic and energy mix as we prepare for a new energy future," he told.
The panel discussion, titled "The Gulf: From oil era to the energetic and ecologic transition, what the future holds for the region?", focused on climate actions taken by countries within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and how the potential climate agreement expected to be finalised at COP21 will impact the future energy landscape of these countries, including the UAE.
"The UAE is taking a wide range of actions to address climate change and transition from a hydrocarbon-based economy to one that relies on knowledge and innovation," according to Mr. Al Zeyoudi, who added, "Through Masdar, the region's largest exporter of renewable energy based in Abu Dhabi, we are paving the way toward a clean energy future."
The panel discussion gathered students studying sustainability and public policy. Other panellists included Sr. Giacomo Luciani, Dean of the Master International Energy at Sciences Po Paris, Kate Dourian, Chief of the Middle East department at the International Energy Agency, and Sr. Jean Ballandras, General Secretary of Akuo Energy.
The event was held as world leaders continue to finalise an agreement on climate change during COP21. Outcomes of the negotiations are expected on December 11. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395288887160.html

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