top of page

UAE: Environmentalists welcome Year of Sustainability

Environmental experts in the UAE have enthusiastically welcomed the President’s announcement of 2023 as the Year of Sustainability.

“We are a nation that makes things happen and I am certain that the Year of Sustainability will give us the boost to truly be a leader for sustainability in the world,” said Habiba Al Marashi, the co-founder and chairperson of Emirates Environmental Group (EEG).

On Friday the President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, announced 2023 as the Year of Sustainability to coincide with the country hosting COP28.

“Our history and approach in preserving the environment and sustaining its resources is constant. And I call on our society to adopt new ideas and specific initiatives that embody the civilised face of our country,” he wrote in a tweet.

Sal Jafar, managing director of ESG MENA knowledge hub, said this move is in the right direction. “The region has been the world’s prime source of energy for more than a century,” he said. “COP27 and COP28 represent the foundation stone for the Middle East to be the prime source of renewable energy for centuries to come.”

The global climate summit COP28 will take place at Expo City Dubai this year from November 30 to December 12.

History of sustainability

According to Habiba, the UAE has been building up towards taking its sustainability ambitions to the next level. “If you consider how the UAE is addressing the SDGs, it really is a great feat by our leadership to bring together so many ministries together to tackle each one of the 17 goals,” she said. “We’ve also seen sustainability as the key feature for major events such as the Expo. Most importantly, we have the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative – which is a national drive to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, making the Emirates the first MENA nation to do so.”

Over the last couple of years, UAE has implemented several sustainability initiatives all over the country including the UAE Vision 2021, Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan and the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

Sal added: “The UAE leadership is committed more than ever to be the pioneer in the next green energy phase for generations to come and across all verticals. This is in continuation of the long drive over the last 17 years since the establishment of Masdar in 2006. The government has accelerated the transition in full force with very agile green initiatives, regulations and investments.”

Sal also said that the declaration would be a catalyst for change. “I hope the private sector will fully embrace the leadership’s vision and get immersed in the transformation actively and responsibly with tangible implementation plans at the grassroots level.”

Habiba also expressed hope that the initiative would encourage the community to join hands. “I hope the private businesses, schools and universities, families and individuals will follow suit with the UAE leaderships’ vision and help make this nation a shining example of sustainability, especially in a world that is already suffering from unprecedented weather events, massive pollution, and social impact of climate change as well.”

Original Source: Khaleej Times


bottom of page